This morning Reuters is reporting that A123 Systems, Inc. (AONE) increased the number of shares offered in its IPO from 25 million to 28.1 million and sold those shares at a price of $13.50. If the underwriters exercise their overallotment option, which is usually the case in IPOs of this size, the total IPO proceeds will be $437.5 million before costs, commissions and discounts. This IPO has been a long time coming but it was worth the wait. I want to congratulate the A123 team and the underwriters on a job well done.
Assuming full exercise of the underwriter’s overallotment option, A123 will have 104.1 million shares outstanding and carry a market capitalization of $1.4 billion. The offering proceeds, together with its pre-offering cash reserves of $115 million should leave A123 with enough liquidity to finance the continued development of its technology and provide roughly $310 million in matching funds for its ARRA battery grants and its anticipated ATVM loan. Now it’s all in the hands of management to implement their strategic plans and bring an important product to market.
I’ve been writing about the energy storage sector for over a year. I believe energy storage will be a fundamental enabling technology for cleantech, the sixth industrial revolution and a major investment theme for the next 20 to 30 years. I’ve written about an emerging consensus that sales in the energy storage sector will grow from $30 billion to well over $100 billion by 2020. I’ve also written about a variety of technologies and companies that will benefit from explosive growth in the sector.
The challenges facing the energy storage sector are enormous, but so are the opportunities. I see an energy storage future where the developers of every technology we know about and many that we don’t know about will have far more business than they can possibly handle. It will be great to have a bright line standard like A123 Systems that investors can use to evaluate the relative merits and risks of both established energy storage device manufacturers and emerging developers of new technologies. I look forward to adding A123 Systems to my list of pure play energy storage companies and covering its progress in detail.