First published in Cleantech Infocus: 2010 - Equity Deals of the Year, January 2011. Copyright Cleantech Investor Ltd.
Equity fund raising for wind technology companies on public markets reflected the broader state of the wind energy industry during 2010. The major global trends were a boom in Chinese wind and a slowdown in US wind. Mirroring this, the Chinese were the most successful in terms of wind equipment manufacturers seeking to raise funding on public markets during the year.
China’s largest turbine manufacturer, Sinovel Wind, was forced to push its planned IPO into 2011 – Sinovel has subsequently raised RML 9.5 billion, or $1.4 billion, in the first week of January – but the number two manufacturer in China, Xinjiang Goldwind, was successful in raising US$916 million in October 2010 in conjunction with a listing on the Hong Kong market. Goldwind, which was already quoted on the Shenzhen exchange, had been forced by the difficult market conditions to postpone its planned listing several times previously.
Fellow Chinese turbine manufacturer, China Ming Yang Wind Power Group, listed on the NYSE in October, raising US$350 million. And Chinese wind tower manufacturer, CleanTech Innovations, was listed on NASDAQ in December – in sharp contrast to the fortunes of Danish tower manufacturer, Skykon, which failed to raise rescue finance during 2010 and ultimately was forced into administration at the beginning of 2011.
The cancellation of the planned IPO of First Wind Holdings in the US (see renewable energy generation deals) had repercussions for Clipper Windpower, a major supplier to First Wind. Clipper, which had been listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, was taken private by principal shareholder United Technologies – at a discount to the price United Technologies had paid for its initial investment.
Meanwhile, in Latin America, the planned IPO of IMPSA (an Argentinian turbine manufacturer which has the majority of its manufacturing in Brazil) on the Sao Paulo Bourse was postponed.
In terms of venture capital investment, there were several notable deals for companies developing technologies for more efficient large scale offshore wind turbines. These included ChapDrive of Norway (which is developing a hydraulic transmission with variable speed control) and Scotland’s NGenTec (focused on direct drive technology).