Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First Wind moves toward becoming public firm

Massachusetts wind farm developer First Wind Holdings Inc. took another step toward becoming a public company as it released year-end numbers showing operating losses of $57.1 million and assets of $1.7 billion, including facilities at seven wind farms across the country.

The company had revenues of $47.1 million in 2009, up from $28.8 million in 2008. First Wind also reported that the most significant chunk of its assets — $1.4 billion — is tied up in “property, plant, equipment, and construction in progress.’’

The company’s operating losses improved from $64.3 million in 2008.

First Wind, which was founded in 2002, has a “develop-to-own’’ business model, which means it creates and then runs its own wind farms. Its current operations include wind farms in the northeastern and western regions of the United States, including one in Maine and one in Hawaii. By the end of 2010, the company said, it plans to have six more projects operating or under construction.

The company has said it chooses its markets because they are “characterized by relatively high electricity prices, a shortage of renewable energy, and sites with good wind resources that can be built in a cost effective manner.’’

First Wind first registered for an initial public offering in 2008. On Friday, it filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission that indicate progress toward that goal. The company announced the lead underwriters for its first stock offering: Credit Suisse Securities LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co., and Morgan Stanley & Co.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment, citing the mandatory quiet period before an IPO.

First Wind, which has about 70 employees, moved its headquarters from Newton to Boston in October.

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