Specialized Technology Resources (STR), maker of materials to protect solar cells inside a panel, plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange and raise up to $184.5 million.
The Enfield, Conn.-based company plans to sell 12.3 million shares and expects the price to fall somewhere between $13 and $15 per share, according to the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday.
STR could raise even more money if its underwriters exercise their options to buy up to about 1.84 million additional shares. With these additional shares, the total amount that STR could raise would be about $212.2 million.
The company could be the first solar company to go public in the United States in more than a year. The company first filed to go public in July 2008. Soon after, the global financial crisis began to batter the public markets.
The successful IPO of A123 Systems, a lithium-ion battery maker gunning for the plug-in hybrid car market, could further whet investors' appetite for more greentech offerings. Watertown, Mass.-based A123 raised $380 million and saw its stock jump 50 percent during the first day of trading.
STR has been around since 1944 and makes encapsulants that are sold under the brand PhotoCap. The company said it has more than 100 customers worldwide, including First Solar, SunPower, BP Solar and United Solar Ovonic.
The materials developer said it was the first to develop ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA) encapsulant for solar panel manufacturing in the 1970s, with help from researchers of what was then the predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The protective layers play a big role in making sure the solar panels could last for more than two decades. Solar panel makers typically provide warranties for 20 to 25 years.
The company, led by CEO Dennis Jilot, also provides quality testing, audit and inspection services to retailers, raw material makers and manufacturers.
STR sold about 2.5 gigawatts' worth of encapsulants in 2008, said the SEC filing. That gave the company a 36 percent share of the global market, it added.
The company has three factories in the United States, one in Spain and one in Malaysia. The Malaysian factory began shipping products last quarter.
STR expects its total 2009 production to reach about 6.4 gigawatts.
The company posted $67.3 million in sales for the third quarter of this year. The solar business accounted for $35.3 million of that. STR made $7.9 million in net income for the same quarter.
For the first six months of this year, STR generated a net income of $6.2 million on $117.7 million in sales, compared with a net income of $16 million on $136.7 million in sales during the same period last year.