Friday, August 8, 2008

Delivered: A123's IPO Papers Arrive at the SEC

InnoEco told you back in April that an IPO for A123 Systems was on the way... and I actually assumed that since three months had elapsed with no news, the company had put it on ice, waiting for market conditions to improve.

But they just filed this morning, likely hoping to take advantage of the public interest in cleantech, and anything (like the company's plug-in hybrid car conversion business) that can combat high gas prices. A graphic included in the company's S-1 filing says, "Our world is warming up... to a new generation of energy storage solutions enabled by nanotechnology."

(I just checked... no, Al Gore is not on their board of directors, despite that "Inconvenient Truth"-style messaging.)

Some key info from the filing:

    We design, develop, manufacture and sell advanced, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and battery systems. Our batteries and battery systems provide a combination of power, safety and life that we believe no other commercially available battery provides. We believe that lithium-ion batteries will play an increasingly important role in facilitating a shift toward cleaner forms of energy. Using our innovative approach to materials science and battery engineering and our systems integration and manufacturing capabilities, we have developed a broad family of high-power, lithium-ion batteries and battery systems. This family of products, combined with our strategic partner relationships in the transportation, electric grid services and portable power markets, position us well to address these markets for next-generation energy storage solutions.

    In our largest target market, the transportation industry, we are currently working with major North American and European automotive manufacturers and major automotive, or tier 1, suppliers to develop batteries and battery systems for hybrid electric vehicles, or HEVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs, and electric vehicles, or EVs. For example, we are engaged in design and development efforts with several passenger vehicle manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers, including General Motors Corporation, or General Motors, and Think Global AS, or Think Global, relating to the design and development of batteries and battery systems for eleven passenger vehicle power train programs that can be applied to 19 vehicle models. We estimate that the number of HEV, PHEV and EV models with an annual production run of at least 20,000 vehicles will grow from ten models in 2008 to over 100 models in 2012. The advanced battery market for HEVs, PHEVs and EVs is currently a $700 million market. We estimate this market could grow to at least $5 billion by 2012.

    ...We began selling our first products commercially in the first quarter of 2006. We have over 1,100 employees worldwide. Since our inception through March 31, 2008, we have generated $87.1 million in revenue, consisting of $72.6 million from battery and battery system sales and $14.5 million from research and development services. Our revenue has grown from $34.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2006 to $41.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, and from $8.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2007 to $10.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2008.

Like a lot of start-ups, they're still losing money: $31 million in 2007, up from $15.8 million in 2006. Revenues were $41.3 million last year, up from $34.3 in 2006.

[ Update: Dan Primack has a post noting that A123 also disclosed in the filing that they raised an additional $102 million this year, bringing their total funding to $230 million. ]

As I'd reported earlier, the biggest A123 shareholders to this point are North Bridge Venture Partners (13.6 percent), Desh Deshpande (12.7 percent), GE (10.4 percent), and Qualcomm and Motorola, both with about eight percent. CEO David Vieau holds 2.4 percent of the stock. No word on how much founders Yet-Ming Chiang and Ric Fulop hold. Another beneficiary of a successful IPO will be MIT, which licensed some of the original IP developed there to A123.

In June, I wrote a column about A123's early history -- and produced a video about the company.

How excited are people about this IPO? I've gotten about a dozen e-mails over the last three months asking me whether I knew when A123 would file...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Color me "excited."

August 11, 2008 10:57 AM  

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