The Race for Small Cleantech IPOs Continues

Small cap cleantech IPOs have been especially hot lately, and definitely global. The big cleantech news seems like that the whole world is getting in on the IPO game. It’s not just in the US, the equity markets in Australia, on the ASX, and the London AIM exchange have lots of activity.

The other striking thing is this activity is not being done by the big banks, nor for the market leaders in each energy or environment technology sector. Many of these recent IPOs have been definitely “emerging” businesses.

IPOs in recent news include a biodiesel company announcing it will raise A$37 mm in Australia,
Axiom Energy IPO. Hoku Scientific went public a few months ago in the US. An early stage fuel cell membrane company, it is up 100% since then. Polyfuel, another emerging US competitor to Hoku, has also looked at plans to IPO on the AIM, Polyfuel IPO.

Babcock & Brown is affiliated with a recent wind energy company listing in Australia, now raising US $275 mm for growth.

In solar in the US we have seen micro IPOs in CIGS from Daystar last year on Nasdaq, and Solar Integrated Technologies, a US based company on the AIM exchange. SunPower, another solar company whom Cypress Semiconductor has sunk tremendous amounts of money into, has filed for a $115 mm IPO in the US. Total revenues are just south of $30 mm, putting even this rather large IPO by cleantech standards well south of the top 10 solar players, who are mostly private.

My own firm advised one in green thin film processes for RFID antennas and EMI shielding, Block Shield, that floated on AIM last year and has done well.

The real question is how strong are these companies, are the valuations reasonable, and how will they perform? By and large most of the recent cleantech IPOs are very young businesses, not ready for the public markets by historical standards.
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