CHORUS Clean Energy prices IPO to raise €103-119 million


It is an interesting time to be holding an initial public offering (IPO) for a solar company, given that solar stock prices are have been depressed for months. Aside from the high-profile stories of trouble at SunEdison and other companies, the MAC Global Solar Energy Stock Index is 40% down from its peak in April.

Stranger still is that this IPO is happening in Germany, a nation which has seen its solar market crushed by an ongoing series of disastrous policy changes in two successive governing coalitions. With only 1.04 GW of PV installed in the first eight months of 2015, Germany’s feed-in tariff will not degress in Q4 for the first time since at least 2012.

This has not stopped wind and solar park operator CHORUS Clean Energy from moving forward with plans to go public. On Friday, the company priced its IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at €9.75 per share, the bottom end of estimates which ranged up to €12.50.

The company plans to offer 10.3 million new shares to raise €100 million. Along with existing shares and an over-allotment option, up to €119 million could be raised. Trading will commence on October 7.

CHORUS operates in one of the only few parts of the German solar industry which can thrive under current market conditions: the operation of wind and solar assets. The company operates around 70 renewable energy plants in five European nations, including Germany, with an installed capacity over 250 MW.

With €30.9 million in revenues, CHORUS reported a 79% EBITDA margin in its first half 2015 results – a margin that manufacturers and developers can only dream of. The company also reported a pipeline of more than 800 MW of wind and solar projects on the way, and predicted “further growth” in the second half of the year.

In the United States, the move by solar companies into asset ownership has been less successful than many anticipated, with yieldco stock prices remaining low despite strong financial results at some companies.