Sinovel Wind Group Co. (601558), the biggest wind-turbine maker by market value, said Han Junliang will resign as chairman for personal reasons, becoming the third Chinese renewable-energy company in a week to replace the head of its board.
Han also will step down from his positions at all Sinovel subsidiaries, the Beijing-based company said today in a Shanghai stock exchange filing. Wei Wenyuan was appointed as Han’s replacement.
Sinovel follows Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP:US), which replaced its chairman March 4, and LDK Solar Co. (LDK:US), which did so the following day. All three are under financial duress, which often triggers new leadership, according to Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in Houston.
“Cleantech has always been an industry where turnover, by most standards, is intense, and with companies on the cusp of real distress or insolvency, that type of thing tends to accelerate,” Molchanov said today in an interview.
Sinovel revised down its 2011 profit 22 percent to 607.4 million yuan due to an accounting error announced March 7.
The turbine company also is embroiled in a legal dispute with Devins, Massachusetts-based American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC:US), which is seeking a total of more than $1.2 billion in damages in Chinese courts from its former largest customer. AMSC accused Sinovel of stealing its technology and violating sales contracts.
Suntech, the largest solar-panel maker in 2011, today extended the deadline for $541 million in bonds that are now due May 15. The notes were initially due Friday and Shi Zhengrong, the ousted chairman, said March 5 the company had no plan in place to pay the debt.
LDK is expected to report losses of about $641 million for 2012, after a $655 million 2011 loss according to data (LDK:US) compiled by Bloomberg.
The shifts come as China’s National People’s Congress meets in Beijing.
To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Doom in New York at email@example.com; Ehren Goossens in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at email@example.com