Heavy-Duty Hybrid-Electric Drive Maker Discloses its IPO—In Canada

3/26/10Follow @bvbigelow

Oops. In a debut that was largely overlooked by market watchers in San Diego and elsewhere, heavy-duty hybrid-electric drive systems maker ISE Corp. has announced its successful IPO last month on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol ISE.

The company, based in suburban Poway, CA, says its initial public offering of 3.45 million shares was priced at C$6 a share (about $5.83 U.S.) on Feb. 23, and raised gross proceeds of C$20.7 million (about $20.1 million U.S.), according to a statement issued yesterday. ISE says it intends to use the net proceeds to repay a loan, and for research and development, capital equipment purchases, and to expand sales and marketing.

ISE founder and chairman David Mazaika told me in late 2008 to think of their products as a very large version of the Toyota Prius. The company’s core technology is focused on three critical subsystems: energy storage, controls software, and power electronics. Since 2000, the company says it has sold more than 300 hybrid-electric drive systems, which have accumulated over 12 million miles of fleet operation. Much of that has come from Long Beach Transit, an ISE customer since 2001. Long Beach Transit reached 10 million miles in revenue service last year with its fleet of buses powered by ISE’s hybrid-electric drive systems.

ISE, founded in 1995, has 138 employees, more than one-third of which are software, electrical, mechanical and systems engineers. The company didn’t say in its statement why it chose to go public in Canada instead of the U.S.

“ISE is an excellent example of a U.S.-based company that has successfully accessed the capital it needs on Toronto Stock Exchange,” Kevan Cowan, President TSX Markets and Group Head of Equities says in the statement released by ISE.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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