Stock by stock, public solar companies are returning to the sunlight, and soon a German star hopes to shine. German glass maker Schott is planning on making a public offering of its solar subsidiary, Schott Solar, aiming to raise around €500 million (about $739 million), according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via Reuters). The exact size and date of the IPO have not been disclosed, though Reuters reported back in May that Schott Solar would likely make its market debut before the end of the year.
Reports say that funds will be used to fuel expansion, including Schott Solar’s recently announced plans to more than double production capacity at one of its German facilities by 2011. The company has arranged several huge banks to guide its IPO, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and JP Morgan. Schott Solar recently reported a 310 percent boost in third-quarter earnings.
Although the German markets have been in a slump as of late, solar stocks have started to rally all over the world. “This is the fourth-best quarter for PV public markets ever, even in the current economy,” Nathaniel Bullard, senior analyst at New Energy Finance, told us. Bosch’s acquisition of ErSol, an integrated solar player and competitor of Schott, earlier this summer shows that big companies are excited to invest in these types of solar makers, Bullard added.
In addition SunPower’s stock surged following its recent deal with PG&E and Chinese solar giant Suntech rallied last week on news that second-quarter revenues were up 51 percent over last year, beating analysts’ predictions. New Energy Finance data shows that public solar companies raised nearly $2 billion globally in the second quarter, though little of that was from IPOs.