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A123 Systems and the Public Market Rollercoaster

Yesterday, Dan reported that the Silver Spring Networks has delayed its much-anticipated IPO until Q4 of this year. The smart grid company had been expected to file its S-1 last month and to price sometime this summer.

If, as widely believed, Silver Spring postponed its plans owing to PG&E, which has encountered various sets of troubles during its wide-scale deployment of smart metering technologies, the delay looks smart, particularly considering the recent woes of A123 Systems.

The lithium-ion battery maker enjoyed a splashy IPO last September, when its shares, offered at $13.50, jumped 50% in their stock market debut to close at roughly $20 a piece. But the news wasn’t so rosy last week, when A123 disclosed that it had missed analysts’ first-quarter expectations, which sent its share price price down $9.60. Today, the company’s $1.04 billion market cap is roughly half what it was back in September.

A123 Takes Stake in Fisker Automotive

DETROIT (Reuters) – Lithium-ion battery supplier A123 Systems (AONE.O) said on Thursday that it had signed a deal to supply power packs for the Fisker Karma, a rechargeable luxury car being launched later this year. A123 also said it would invest $23 million in a funding round for Fisker Automotive, an ambitious venture capital-backed start-up behind […]

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Plan B and A123

What’s the difference between strategy and tactics? Age-old question. Usually, strategy is what you said was your plan after you blundered and lucked your way to a win. I was never more aware of this truism than at the recent IPO for A123 Systems, a new-age battery company that a few of us backed seven-and-a-half […]

More Cleantech IPO Prepping in A123’s Wake?

The market’s positive reception to last month’s IPO of battery maker A123 Systems has venture capitalists abuzz with optimism about doing more cleantech IPOs.

Jim Watson, managing general partner of CMEA Capital, is part of that group. The firm, which was a later-stage investor in A123, has about 15 active cleantech investments in its portfolio. Watson says a couple of those are looking at filing to go public in the “in the next couple months.”

Which ones? Watson didn’t say. One obvious candidate, based on others’ IPO predictions, is solar panel maker Solyndra, which has raised a whopping $512 million in venture funding to date. The firm also fits the criteria that Watson says a cleantech firm needs to go public in the current environment: a proven technology, a product that’s attracted customers and long term contracts, as well “considerable government funding.”

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A123 Didn’t Deliver Much Juice to VCs

It may have delivered a jolt to the IPO market, but battery maker A123 Systems didn’t produce a high-voltage charge for its venture backers.

A123 priced its shares at $13.50 this morning and they shot up to $20.29 by the end of the day, an increase of more than 50 percent. That was the best second-best debut of the seven VC-backed companies that have gone public this year and the second-best debut for any IPO on a U.S. exchange this year. (Updated: OpenTable rose 59% on its first day.)

Despite the impressive performance, the company’s backers didn’t see a huge return because they invested such a large amount in A123. (See table below)

Prior to its IPO, A123 raised more than $240 million from more than 15 investors over 11 rounds since 2001, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB).

A123 Prices IPO Above Range, Ups share Issue

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lithium-ion car battery maker A123 Systems Inc increased the number of shares in its initial public offering and priced them for $13.50 apiece, above the estimate range. The upsized deal helped the Massachusetts company raise $380.4 million, far above what it had expected. On Tuesday, facing strong demand, A123 had raised […]

A123 Increases IPO Price Range

A123 Systems, a Watertown, Mass.-based maker of lithium-ion batteries, has increased its IPO pricing range to between $10 and $11.50 per share, compared to an initial range of between $8.50 and $9.50 per share. It still plans to offer 25.68 million common shares, and price later this week. The company would have an initial market cap of […]

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