SunEdison puts solar first with spinoff plans

SunEdison announced plans to split off its semiconductor business in an initial public offering to help fund future solar farm development and repay debt.

SunEdison announced plans to split off its semiconductor business in an initial public offering and use the proceeds to fund future solar farm development and repay debt.

The company said it plans to file a registration statement with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the third quarter of 2013, with the IPO scheduled by early 2014.

SunEdison will sell a minority stake in its semiconductor business to the public through the IPO, the company said in a statement. The company didn't provide many more details except to say the new spin off business will operate independently and be named SunEdison Semiconductor Inc. The company has scheduled a conference call for Sept. 9 to discuss the transaction and provide an update on future growth prospects in the solar market.

Semiconductor company MEMC Electronic Materials acquired SunEdison in 2009 for $200 million in cash and stock. In May, the company changed its name to SunEdison.

The company already reports its earnings results under two units: semiconductor and solar. The spin off will create a bigger separation between the two businesses, allowing SunEdison to focus its efforts on building up its pipeline of solar power plants projects. The company currently has nearly 3 gigawatts of solar farm projects in its development pipeline.

SunEdison is among a number of solar companies that have shifted their focus and capital towards the development of solar power plants away from the low-margin business of making solar panels, which continue to fall in price.

Photo: SunEdison

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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