An employee of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group at a production plant in Dezhou, Shandong province. (Photo by Sha Lang/For China Daily)
The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong is seeking legal action to disqualify five former and current directors of mainland solar energy firm Hanergy Thin Film Power Group from being directors or being involved in the management of any Hong Kong corporation for up to 15 years.
The directors, including the company's founder and former chairman Li Hejun, and four current independent non-executive directors－Zhao Lan, Wang Tongbo, Xu Zheng and Wang Wenjing－failed to question the viability of Hanergy's business model which relied on the sales of solar panel production systems to its connected parties as its main source of revenue and failed to assess properly the financial positions of the connected parties, according to a statement released by the SFC on Monday.
"They also failed to take proper steps to recover these receivables by putting the interests of the connected parties before that of Hanergy, and so did not act in Hanergy's best interest," the statement added.
Meanwhile, the SFC is also seeking a court order to require Hanergy's parent company－Hanergy Holding Group Ltd－pay all outstanding receivables due to Hanergy under various sales contracts and execute a guarantee securing their payment.
The first hearing of the petition will be in the Court of First Instance on May 21.
The trading of Hanergy shares has been suspended for more than one and a half years.
The company may get the permit from the SFC to resume trading, under the condition that the company's five directors agree not to contest the SFC's application to disqualify them and that the company shall publish a disclosure document providing detailed information on the company, its activities, business, assets, liabilities, financial performance and prospects to address the SFC's concerns that led it to suspend trading in Hanergy's shares.
However, the statement mentioned that there is "no assurance" that the SFC Board will agree that the trading of Hanergy's shares can resume.
Hanergy responded by saying that the company has and will continue to use its best endeavors to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements and will seek to resume trading of its shares as soon as possible.
In March 2015, Hanergy shares surged 75 percent in just three days, once making company founder Li Hejun China's richest man with estimated wealth of billion.
Then, the share prices plunged 47 percent in less than half an hour on May 20, 2015, wiped billion off Hanergy's market capitalization, prompting a trading suspension of its shares since then.