North Coast Solar Stocks

October 22, 2009

First solar IPO in 15 months set to price Nov. 5

Filed under: FSLR, SOLR, STRI — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 11:38 am

Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:38am EDT

* Company sees net IPO proceeds of $25.4 mln

* Sales fell 14 pct in first half of 2009

* Execs selling 81.3 pct of the IPO’s shares

NEW YORK, Oct 22 (Reuters) – STR Holdings Inc (STRI) set terms for what is likely to become the first U.S.-listed initial public offering by a solar company in 15 months.

The Connecticut-based company, which provides encapsulants that protect a solar module’s semiconductor circuit, plans to sell 12.3 million shares for between $13 and $15 each, raising an estimated $172 million, according to an updated prospectus filed on Thursday with U.S. regulators. The shares would trade on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol “STRI.N” (STRI).

Its encapsulants are used in both crystalline and thin-film solar modules.

The last solar company to go public in a U.S.-listed IPO was GT Solar International Inc (SOLR), which raised $500 million but has fallen 65.5 percent since then.

Solar stocks have struggled in the past year as the credit crisis has constricted financing for solar projects; but experts believe the industry will resume its growth trajectory in 2010, aided by the first real installment of “green” stimulus dollars pledged by the major economies.

Of the shares in the IPO, 10 million shares are being offered by the company’s executives, while the remainder would be sold be the company, which estimated net proceeds of $25.4 million, with which it would pay down debt.

Its clients include BP Plc’s (BP) BP Solar and First Solar Inc (FSLR). The company also offers quality assurance services such as inspection, testing and auditing to consumer products makers.

The deal is expected to price on Nov. 5 and debut on the NYSE the next day, an underwriter said.

In the first half of 2009, STR had sales of $117.7 million, down 14 percent from the year-earlier period, and net income of $6.2 million.

The IPO’s underwriters, led by Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs & Co, will have the option to buy another 1.8 million shares.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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