According to reports in Reuters and the New York Times, solar installer and financier SolarCity has officially priced its stock at $8 per share on Wednesday afternoon, and is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday morning. The $8 per share debut price is well below the expected range of $13 to $15 per share days ago, but the IPO is still moving forward, and was only delayed by a day.
SolarCity also has an interesting strategy that its investors will be buying up a significant portion of the shares — founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he will buy $15 million worth of shares at the IPO price, while investor Draper Fisher Jurvetson plans to buy 1.5 million shares in the offering, and the DBL Equity Fund (DBL is an investor) plans to buy 300,000 shares in the offering. As the Wall Street Journal points out Musks’ and the investors’ soon-to-be-acquired shares represent around one third of the offered shares. Musk’s alone are one sixth of the offered shares.
That means the private investors will have more control over the company. SolarCity updated its S-1 with the following risk factor. If Musk and the investors buy those proposed shares, then:
“directors, executive officers and each of our stockholders who own greater than 5 percent of our outstanding common stock and their affiliates, in the aggregate, will beneficially own approximately 80.3 percent of the outstanding shares of our common stock after this offering.”
We’ll see how the markets react to SolarCity’s stock at $8 per share tomorrow in its debut. It’ll act as a bellwether for how Wall Street reacts to solar, clean power and cleantech stocks in general. Exits in clean energy and cleantech have been few and far between for investors and entrepreneurs. There’s been a variety of 11th hour IPO hopefuls that ditched their IPO plans because they couldn’t get the per share price and valuation they wanted.