Trina Solar is set to become the latest big solar manufacturer to return to a listing in its homeland, where its results will face less scrutiny.
The science and technology innovation board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange met remotely last week – due to strict COVID-19 containment measures in China – and on Wednesday approved Trina’s request for an IPO on the exchange.
Trina will follow in the footsteps of rival JA Solar by de-listing in the U.S. to return to China, where public reporting requirements are less strict. JA Solar won permission to list its stock in China in September.
Jiangsu-based Trina was founded in 1997 and was one of the first Chinese solar companies to list in the U.S., joining the New York Stock Exchange in 2006. However, a perceived low valuation and consequent hurdles to raising finance saw the company taken back into private ownership by a consortium led by chairman and CEO Jifan Gao in March 2017 in a $1.1 billion deal. That arrangement saw Trina become part of private business Fortune Solar Holdings Ltd.
The prospectus published by the Shanghai exchange in relation to Trina’s IPO application stated the module maker banked revenue of RMB23.4 billion ($3.34 billion) last year for a RMB702 million net profit – up 22.6% from 2018. Figures published by solar research company PV InfoLink stated Trina shipped around 10 GW of modules last year to be the third biggest supplier in the world.
In January, the company launched its Duomax V bifacial, double-glass module featuring a 210mm silicon wafer, a product it claims can generate 500 W. The company has formulated a new product strategy based on its 210mm series modules.
The manufacturer will hope to gain access to more sources of capital after its Shanghai listing at a time when solar manufacturers are going hell-for-leather to expand their production capacities as aggressively as possible.