BrightSource Energy Cancels IPO Citing Unfavorable Market Conditions

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Solar thermal power plant developer BrightSource Energy, which was expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Thursday, called off its initial public offering late Wednesday, citing unfavorable market conditions.

John Woolard, President and CEO of BrightSource Energy, said, "While we received significant interest from potential investors, the continued market and economic volatility are not optimal conditions for an IPO."

In a March filing, the company planned to offer 6.9 million shares in a price range of $21 to $23 per share to raise around $182.5 million.

The stock was to be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol "BRSE". The pricing was to be announced after the markets closed on Wednesday.

The company now intends to withdraw its registration statement on Form S-1 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Headquartered in Oakland, California, BrightSource is a developer of utility scale solar thermal plants that generate solar energy for utility and industrial companies using its proprietary solar thermal tower technology.

While solar panels use a chip material to convert sunlight into electricity, the company uses fields of mirrors known as heliostats by making use of its solar-thermal technology. This technology leads sunlight onto a steam-producing central boiler, which drives power turbines to generate electricity.

The company has received $868 million in federal loans and is backed by heavyweights such as by Google inc., NRG Energy, Morgan Stanley and Alstom.

Investors were apprehensive about the company's IPO against the backdrop of uncertainty clouding the U.S. renewable-energy policy. Additionally, lower panel prices have been hurting solar panel makers, cauring nervousnees about solar companies among investors.

BrightSource is deploying its technology at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California's Mojave Desert, which is expected to become the largest solar thermal project in the world.

"With our pipeline of U.S. contracts and our flagship Ivanpah project, we have established a leading position in the domestic solar thermal energy space. We will continue to execute on our business plan to grow domestically and expand internationally to meet the growing demand for our technology," Woolard added.

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