Published on 13 May, 2007. By John Reynolds
A PAIR of Irish solar power pioneers will float their €750m environmental business on the London market next month.
It will be the largest IPO of a green energy firm to date.
With family roots in Roscommon, Leitrim and Belfast, CEO Dr Iain Dorrity and CFO Peter Finnegan will become enormously rich from the flotation of PV Crystalox Solar.
Having grown from humble beginnings in a shed in Oxfordshire in the UK in 1982, the firm now supplies Japanese electronics giant Sharp, the world’s biggest maker of solar panels.
Dorrity’s 16 per cent stake of the business could be worth uo to €120m, although he plans to sell of about a quarter of his shares. Finnegan holds about one per cent of the firm.
The company employs 207 people and turnover last year was €242m, up 32 per cent on the previous year, while profits of €49m had rocketed by 56 per cent since 2005.
“We pioneered the industry standard for solar technology and it’s a very exciting time for us. Over the last five years we have been consistently profitable, trebling our sales and continuing to grow our margins,” said Dorrity.
€75m of the cash raised will be spent on building a German factory to make its own silicon raw material, boosting production and sales.
“The German government gives significant grants for solar power and it’s currently the world’s biggest market for solar panels, while Spain, France and Greece are also becoming significant,” said Dorrity.
A quarter of the company’s output supplies the booming European market; globally, the solar power market is growing at 30 to 35 per cent a year.