Tesla, BrightSource Could Postpone IPOs To 2010

Sep 11 2009 | 1:07pm ET

The electric car maker Tesla Motors and the solar thermal energy firm BrightSource Energy will not launch initial public offerings until 2010 unless market conditions improve, Stephan Dolezalek, an investor in both companies, told the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco.

The Tesla Model S goes on sale in 2011 and gets at least 160 miles on a charge.The Tesla Model S goes on sale in 2011 and gets at least 160 miles on a charge.Dolezalek, managing director of VantagePoint Venture Partners, said Tesla, BrightSource and Silver Spring Networks, a smart grid firm, are among the most likely candidates for IPOs.

Neither Tesla nor BrightSource is in desperate need of funding – BrightSource has $9 billion in booking contracts for solar plants, while Tesla turned its first profit in July, shipping 109 of its pricey electric sports cars.

“Most of us have a longer term view. The IPO is a financing event, it’s not an exit,” Dolezalek said. “We easily see those companies as being $5 billion to $10 billion.”

VantagePoint has funded over 20 green companies in sectors including electric vehicles, solar energy and biofuels.

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