SunEdison to divest semiconductor business through $250m IPO

SunEdison Inc filed to spin off its semiconductor unit, SunEdison Semiconductor, through an initial public offering of up to $250m, as the company looks to focus on its high-margin solar power business.

Reuters reported on Monday that the company had said last month it would sell a minority stake in its newly formed semiconductor unit through a public offering scheduled for early 2014, and use the proceeds to build solar farms.

SunEdison, which was formerly known as MEMC Electronic Materials, follows other solar companies like SunPower Corp and First Solar Inc which have moved into the business of developing solar farms as solar panel prices continue to remain weak.

SunEdison’s semiconductor materials business, which makes wafers used in chips for computers, mobile phones and cars, posted revenue of $239m, or about 60 per cent of the company’s total, in the second quarter.

The business counted Samsung Electronics, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and STMicroelectronics among its largest customers in 2012.

The merchant semiconductor silicon wafer market in 2012 was about $9bn worldwide and is expected to grow to about $12bn by 2017, according to a Gartner report cited in the IPO filing.

Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman Sachs are the lead underwriters to the offering, Missouri-based SunEdison told the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus.

The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price.

SunEdison Semiconductor intends to list its common stock under the symbol “WFR”.

The company did not disclose which exchange it would list its stock on.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees.

The final size of the IPO could be different.

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