GT Solar Set to Break IPO Drought

7/22/08Follow @wroush

The long-delayed initial public offering for Merrimack, NH-based GT Solar International is scheduled to go forward on Thursday—and so many investors are interested in the company that the offering is already oversubscribed, according to Ben Holmes, publisher at research firm Morningnotes.

The stock will trade on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol SOLR. According to Morningnotes’ research, it will debut in the price range of $15.50 to $17.50 per share, potentially raising $470 million to $530 million for the company, which makes equipment for manufacturing photovoltaic panels and has landed some big contracts recently. The company dusted off and expanded its long dormant plan to go public on July 7 after first filing for an IPO in April 2007.

Morningnotes reported today based on information gathered from the deal’s underwriters—who include Credit Suisse, UBS Invest Bank, Banc of America Securities LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities, Piper Jaffray, and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC—that the IPO is “oversubscribed with no appreciable price sensitivity,” meaning investors are willing to buy in even at the high end of the $15.50-$17.50 price range. The underwriters “didn’t give a degree of oversubscription—just more than one times,” Holmes says.

GT Solar was founded in 1994 and is controlled by private equity firm GFI Energy Ventures and alternative-energy investment manager Oaktree Capital Management. If the offering goes ahead as planned, it will be the first IPO by a U.S. venture- or PE-backed company since the end of the first quarter, breaking not only the regional New England IPO drought but the national one as well.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • john m

    Envision Solar investor here. EVSI.OB recently had their IPO and should be making some big moves in the near future. They have a revolutionary ideas to produce and utilize solar energy using solar groves in huge parking lots, near commercial areas…..DUHHH, where energy is needed most. With designers to make them look good in commercial area, and the technology to make them efficient, the sky is the limit. Hopefully after a few small jobs(some have already been completed in San Diego), EVSI will start getting large scale and government contracts. VERY COMPELLING INVESTMENT OPP!

    Check out some of their plans in these short videos.

    http://envisionsolar.com/video/