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First Wind IPO Delayed

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- First Wind Holdings (WIND) has delayed its initial public offering, a day after already saying that it would reduce pricing on the IPO by 24%.

First Wind had predicted it would get $24 to $26 a share, but yesterday said it expected to sell 12 million shares in the range of $18 to $20 each. A share price in the middle of the new range would reduce the IPO proceeds by $72 million.

Reuters reported on Thursday morning that the First Wind IPO had been delayed, citing an anonymous underwriter. A decision on going ahead with the First Wind IPO is pending.

First Wind's road to being a public company has not been an easy one. In fact, the company filed plans to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission as far back as 2008, when the U.S. wind market was in a much better position than it has been for much of 2010. At the time of its original IPO filing, First Wind was in a cash crunch.


U.S. wind stocks have not performed well this year, as the case of Broadwind Energy (BWEN) shows, down 78% this year among a nadir in the U.S. wind market project market.

With the cash grant program that had spurred the development of many alternative energy projects set to end this year, and the base of tax equity investors available to fund alternative energy projects in 2011 using the old investment tax credit approach much debated, the outlook for the U.S wind market remains tenuous.




Nevertheless, wind power IPOs are getting completed. At the beginning of October, China's China Ming Yang Wind Power (MY) completed its IPO, though it priced at the bottom of its estimated range of $14 to $16. The 25 million shares Ming Yang Wind Power IPO raised $350 million. Shares of Ming Yang have since fallen to $10.

In the broader alternative energy IPO context, Chinese offerings have been the recent successes, if they can be called successes pricing at the low-end of the IPO range on more than one occasion. China's Jinko Solar (JKS) also priced at the low end of its IPO range when it went public, and fell to a level below the IPO price shortly after its May offering. However, with the strength in the solar market since July, Jinko Solar shares have climbed from $10 to $30.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

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