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When it comes to finding a successful exit for your cleantech startup, good luck finding a buyer willing to pay the price you want. That was the consensus of investors at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy Conference this week. The cleantech industry is too young for […]

When it comes to finding a successful exit for your cleantech startup, good luck finding a buyer willing to pay the price you want. That was the consensus of investors at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy Conference this week. The cleantech industry is too young for its M&A market to have matured, and the IPO market, for certain sectors, is offering a lot better options.

Tim Woodward, Managing Director of Nth Power: “When we make investments today we still look for an IPO exit opportunity…if [M&A is] the only exit path that we think a business has available to it, we’re less likely to make an investment at an early stage. We’ve played in this industry for 8 years and we’ve waited for the M&A market to materialize and it never has, to date in any significant way. . . .We see the potential for that to change. We see companies that will go public at valuations that you’re not going to see GE pay for a company, but now SunPower, First Solar, Comverge, EnerNOC are the acquirers and potentially an exit path for early stage companies. . . “

Gary D. Vollen, Managing Director, Pacific Growth Equities: “The M&A market in this industry is far from mature. This is still three to five years away.”

Paul T. Ho, Director, Renewable Energy, Credit Suisse: “In the eyes of big companies this is still a very small space. In the eyes of big oil, biofuels is just a drop in the bucket on their balance sheet…The only exception might be in the wind space, there are a a lot of small scale wind developers.”

  1. [...] feedstocks. When it comes to acquisitions, though, Chevron might not be the best exit strategy. As we recently pointed out, the cleantech M&A space is far from mature. Digg Stumble Reddit del.icio.us Email « Cleantech Exits: M&As Are Weak, [...]

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  2. [...] exit through an IPO, not through an acquisition. As Tim Woodward, managing director of Nth Power, said on a recent panel we attended: “We’ve played in this industry for eight years and we’ve waited for the [...]

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  3. [...] outlook is different than what we heard from investors a couple years ago, when Nth Power managing director Tim Woodward explained, “When we make investments today we [...]

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  4. [...] Hopes for a Google-like moneymaker in cleantech (Google took only $25 million in venture capital to make millionaires of 1,000 employees and billionaires of its two co-founders in a wildly successful IPO) have already started to fade for some in the sector. Stephan Dolezalek, managing director of VantagePoint Venture Partners, which has invested in Tesla, told Reuters in September that public offerings now serve more as “financing events” for alternative energy and other cleantech startups rather than a way for investors and founders to cash in on equity. [...]

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