Friday, August 1, 2008

Was the GT Solar IPO a Hit Job? (SOLR)

From GreenLight:

Sometimes, in the heat of battle, you miss a few details. While reviewing the carnage from last week’s GT Solar IPO, I came across a Boston Globe piece that briefly mentioned something a lot of people overlooked. “GT Solar didn’t need money,” the article read, “choosing to go public only so private investors who bankrolled the company could cash out on some of their investment.” Wait wait what? Call me naive - maybe this happens more than I think - but I find this to be totally shocking.

Here’s the rundown. GT Solar is run by a group called GT Solar Holdings, which is owned by two venture capital firms - GFI Energy Ventures and Oaktree Capital Management. Going back through the story, it’s pretty clear GT Solar didn’t really need the $500 million it raised for expansion. The company’s sales quadrupled last year to $244 million that backed up $36 million in income. It has a strong presence in China, counting (until late last week) LDK Solar as one of its major customers, and a current order backlog of around $1.3 billion. All in all, a pretty strong financial position for a company well-placed within the solar supply chain....MORE