Hanergy Thin Film founder to sell 6 percent stake; firm valued at just $1.2 billion

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The founder of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd 0566.HK, once China's wealthiest man on paper, plans to sell a 6 percent holding at a fraction of the shares' last traded price in May, valuing the embattled solar technology firm at just $1.2 billion.

The solar panel-making equipment manufacturer has been under investigation by the Hong Kong securities regulator after its shares tumbled 47 percent in 24 minutes on May 20 - a sudden rout that left it with a market value of around $21 billion at the time and which had followed a long run-up in its stock that had puzzled many analysts.

Founder and chairman Li Hejun plans to sell stock at 0.18 yuan per share, a deal worth 450 million yuan ($69.4 million) according to a filing to the Hong Kong bourse. On May 20, it last traded at HK$3.91.

Hanergy officials could not be immediately reached for comment on the buyer or buyers of the shares.

Li’s holding would be reduced to 74.75 percent from 80.75 percent.

Hanergy had been criticized by analysts for relying on its parent company - Hanergy Holdings Group Ltd - for most of its revenue and profits.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Edwina Gibbs