Chinese company gains control of Hoku Scientific

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Associated Press

Posted on December 24, 2009 at 6:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 24 at 6:02 AM

HONOLULU (AP) — A Chinese company is now the majority owner of a Hawaii-based supplier of silicon for solar panels.

Hoku Scientific Inc. of Honolulu said Wednesday it has issued more than 33 million shares to Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co. of Chengdu, giving the Chinese company control of 60 percent of Hoku's outstanding shares.

In return, Tianwei has canceled $50 million in Hoku debt. Tianwei is also loaning Hoku $50 million through China Construction Bank and has agreed to help the company obtain additional financing it may need to build and operate its Pocatello, Idaho, facility.

Financing problems held up construction earlier this year. The $390 million factory will employ 200 workers when completed.

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