Tianwei To Finance Hoku Scientific's Idaho Plant

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Hoku Scientific Inc. surged 43 percent in aftermarket trading after the clean energy company said it will grant Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co. a majority stake in exchange for financing the construction of Hoku's polysilicon production facility in Pocatello, Idaho.

In July, Hoku had slowed construction at the solar materials plant to preserve cash while it sought to raise capital, and the builder, JH Kelly, had filed a lien against it for $12 million in past due payments. Last week, JH Kelly agreed to resume construction if Hoku paid $5 million and to not foreclose on the property if the rest is paid by Jan. 14.

China's Tianwei makes silicon wafers and photovoltaic cells and systems. As part of the new deal, Hoku will issue about 33.4 million new shares, which represent 60 percent of its outstanding stock, and grant Tianwei warrants to buy an additional 10 million shares at $2.52 per share.

At Tuesday's closing price, the 33.4 million shares would be worth $71.5 million. The company currently has about 21.2 million shares outstanding.

Hoku's shares jumped 93 cents, or 43.5 percent, to $3.07 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed earlier down 4 cents at $2.14.

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