GT Solar Sees Partly Sunny Stock-Market Debut

7/24/08

Shares of GT Solar headed south after their debut this morning on the NASDAQ exchange (SOLR). Of course, making it to the public market at all is an accomplishment in this economic climate; the Merrimack, NH-based manufacturer of equipment for producing photovoltaic panels is the first venture- or PE-backed firm in the whole country to go public since the end of the first quarter.

The offering was bigger than what GT Solar had originally planned when it first filed for the deal back in April—the firm ultimately sold 30.3 million shares at $16.50 per share, for a total value just shy of $500 million, compared to the $200 million offering originally proposed. What’s more, the deal was oversubscribed. But shares fell this morning to as low as $14.11 and just after noon were trading around $15, down about 9 percent.

All of the proceeds of the offering will go to the selling stockholder, GT Solar Holdings, which will make a distribution to its shareholders. The holding company has also granted the underwriters an option to buy up to 4.5 million more GT Solar shares to cover any over-allotments.

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