With a special appearance by Eric Wesoff...
The re-election of José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
in Spain this month has cleared the way for foreign suitors to starting sizing up potential bids for Iberdrola, Spain's largest utility. Électricité de France SA and Actividades de Construcción y Servicios SA, a French utility and Spanish construction company, have announced plans to launch a simultaneous bid on Iberdrola and Unión Fenosa
, Spain's third largest utility. The deal would be worth at least $134 billion, though it may face opposition from French state-controlled EdF. EdF's plans would break up Iberdrola
through an acquisition of Unión Fenosa, which would let ACS - another Spanish construction company and UF majority stakeholder - acquire Iberdrola and sell Scottish Power (owned by Iberdrola) to EdF.This deal have some impact across the pond, where Iberdrola owns PPM Energy, the country's third largest wind power producer. Iberdrola is also finalizing its $4.6 billion bid for Energy East
, which would give it access to nearly 3 million customers from New York to Maine. However, the Energy East acquisition is facing strong opposition from the New York Public Service Commission
and Sen. Charles Schumer. The PSC is concerned the acquisition may drive up rates while having no significant impact on renewable energy capacity. Ultimately, they're concerned about a replay of this deal
New England's GT Solar signed a $200M contract
with DC Chemical of South Korea, adding to their recently signed $49M
reactor contract with China's Trina Solar. GT, with~$80M in revenue in 2006, filed their S-1
with the SEC in preparation for an IPO almost a year ago. Unlike Ascent Solar
, Bear Stearns was not an underwriter. It’s obviously a shaky time for public markets, even for solar IPOs. GT Solar build and sells CVD polysilicon reactors and other PV manufacturing equipment.
, a stealthy solar company located in Fremont, CA, closed a $79M funding round in April of 2007 for what was rumored to be a variation of CIGS technology (we heard “CIGS on wires???, whatever that is). Investors included CMEA Ventures and Redpoint Ventures. According to CNET scuttlebutt
, Solyndra is looking for new funds and proposing, well, ridiculous, valuations for an unproven technology and zero revenues. What did they spend all that money on? They staffed up big-time according to LinkedIn
. In addition to hiring shiploads of engineers, they look to have hired or contracted bunches of HR people and recruiters. This makes sense as they had to replace what looks like the core of their founding team. Jonathan Michael
, their original CFO, has left the company, as has Ratson Morad
, a VP Enginering, and Benny Buller
, another VP Engineering, now with DayStar and First Solar
respectively. And there are several other former Solyndrites listed. Why would a company worth a billion dollars be shedding employees and especially their core founding team? Inquiries to their investors and other people within Solyndra remain unanswered.
John Garamendi, California's Lt. Governor, spoke in Palo Alto at the Silicon Valley offices of Pillsbury Winthrop on the always scintillating subject of Cap and Trade policy for Green House gases. Here are quotes from his talk:
- “I don't know what it will look like, but I believe we will see a viable Cap and Trade program for GHGs in the next 2 years.???
- “If we do this right, I think we're going to have a robust financial profit opportunity.???
- “The politics are dicey. The Governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Lt Governor want to move to cap and trade but there are opponents???
Here, Mr, Garamendi did a little environmentalist bashing – saying that environmentalist organizations were concerned about the losers, with toxic materials being dumped in area of low wealth.
- “That doesn't have to happen in an auction with real money.??? Said Garamendi (vs. allocations as per the less than successful EU scheme)
- His message, “it is extremely important for CA to act on this issue and use market inducement to control GHGs. It is a combination of market and regulatory actions - working together to achieve a good goal.???