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Canadian Solar CEO offers to take company private

The Canadian Solar Inc. board of directors is considering a preliminary, nonbinding proposal from Chairman, President and CEO Shawn Qu to take the company private.

In his proposal, Qu offered to acquire all of the company's outstanding common shares not already beneficially owned by Qu and his wife Hanbing Zhang for cash consideration of $18.47 per share, according to a Dec. 11 news release.

The purchase price represents an approximately 7.1% premium on the closing price of $17.25 per share on Dec. 8 and an approximately 10% premium to the average closing price during the last 90 trading days.

The board has formed a special committee, consisting of independent and disinterested directors, to review the proposal.

Qu and his wife own approximately 23.5% of the Canadian Solar's issued and outstanding shares on a fully diluted and as-converted basis. Qu plans to finance the transaction with a combination of debt and equity capital.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as U.S. legal advisor and Stikeman Elliott LLP as Canadian legal advisor for Qu.

A special committee, consisting of independent and disinterested directors, has been formed by the board to review the proposal.