Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL), one of the world’s leading photovoltaic (PV) solar energy companies, agreed to be taken private for $1.1 billion in an all-cash management buyout deal led by its founder, chairman and chief executive Jifan Gao, backed by a Chinese investor consortium.

In addition to Gao, the investor consortium includes Shanghai Xingsheng Equity Investment & Management Co. Ltd., Shanghai Xingjing Investment Management Co. Ltd., Great Zhongou Asset Management (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., and Liuan Xinshi Asset Management Co. Ltd.

Trina Solar is an integrated solar power products manufacturer and solar system developer based in China with a global distribution network. The company has integrated the manufacturing of ingots, wafers and solar cells for use in its photovoltaic (PV) module production. Its PV modules provide electric power for residential, commercial, industrial and other applications. It also develops, designs, constructs, operates and sells solar power projects that primarily use the solar modules it manufactures, in China, the United Kingdom, the US and other European and Asian countries.

Trina Solar was founded in 1997, and is said to have surpassed Yingly Green Energy Holding Co. as the world’s biggest solar panel maker in 2014. Other major PV solar market rivals include JA Solar Holdings Co., Canadian Solar Inc. and JinkoSolar Holding Co.

The deal, which represents a premium of 40.6% to the closing price of the company’s American depositary shares (ADS) on July 29, 2016, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is serving as financial advisor to Trina’s special committee, and Kirkland & Ellis is serving as US legal counsel to the special committee.

Duff & Phelps LLC is serving as financial advisor to the investor consortium, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as US legal counsel to the investor consortium.

Photo: Jifan Gao, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar.

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