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ABQ solar tech company’s new IPO could raise over $1B

JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/DEAN HANSON
Employees at Array Technologies assemble parts for solar trackers in this file photo.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque-based solar manufacturer Array Technologies Inc. went live on the Nasdaq Global Market Thursday morning and was poised to raise more than $1 billion in its initial public offering.

On Wednesday, the company increased the number of shares it’s offering to 47.5 million priced at $22 per share, up from 33.8 million and a price range of between $19 and $21 previously.

The jump in stock and offering price meant the company could raise $1.045 billion if all shares are sold at $22. Total company market valuation could reach nearly $2.8 billion, based on 127 million in total outstanding common stock after the offering closes next Monday.

Oaktree Capital, which purchased majority ownership in the previously private company in 2016, is now selling 40.5 million shares on the Nasdaq. Company executives are selling 7 million.

From the moment the stock went live, it appeared that not only will Array meet its targets, but it could well exceed them, according to the publication MarketWatch.

“Shares of Array … charged out of the gate, as the first trade was 34% above the upsized initial public offering priced,” MarketWatch reported from New York at about 1 p.m. EST.

Company executives were upbeat.

“It’s a big day for us,” Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Krantz told the Journal late Thursday morning. “We’re excited. We’ve been working hard the last several years and it’s gone really well.”

Array is making history in New Mexico, where PNM Resources, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is the only other large publicly traded firm that’s headquartered here.

Array makes solar trackers, which are used to rotate solar panels throughout the day to optimize their orientation to the sun, significantly increasing electric generation. Array, which launched in 1989, has grown into the second-largest solar tracker manufacturer in the U.S. and controls 30% of the domestic market, just behind competitor Nextracker.

Ron Corio, who designed and developed Array’s original tracking devices, founded the company and led it for almost three decades. He remains on the Array board and is still the majority shareholder among executive stock holders, excluding Oaktree.

Corio said he’s thrilled with the IPO.

“From a personal perspective, it’s very exciting,” Corio told the Journal early Thursday afternoon. “It’s nice to see my baby all grown up.”

Corio built the company from scratch with just $16,000 in capital when he launched in 1989.

“That was 31 years ago when I was just 28 years old,” Corio said. “I always believed there would be real potential for the company to grow alongside the expanding renewable industry, although I was probably naive about how long it would take. But it’s now achieved more than anything I expected.”

Krantz said proceeds from company stock sales will be used to pay down debt, while paving the way for further growth in the future.

“(The IPO) gives us long-term access to capital,” Krantz said. “We’ll work on bolstering our technology and continue the path we’re on.”

 

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