Wind energy company Pattern blows past IPO price in debut

Reuters

* At a high of $24.30, company valued at $1.24 bln

* Raises $352 mln from IPO

* Shares jump as much as 10 pct

Sept 27 (Reuters) - Shares of Pattern Energy Group Inc rose 10 percent in their debut, as the recent rally inrenewable energy stocks rubbed off on the first-ever publicoffering of a U.S. wind farm operator.

Pattern's IPO comes almost three years after First WindHoldings Inc yanked its offering in November 2010 afterinvestors balked at an unprofitable company with aggressiveexpansion plans. ()

However, Pattern has solid cash flow and has been largelyprofitable, factors that may have helped the company get abetter pricing and drive the stock up on debut.

The company raised $352 million after pricing its offeringat $22 per share, just above its expected price range of$19-$21. Pattern sold 16 million shares.

San Francisco, California-based Pattern owns and operateseight wind power projects in the United States, Canada andChile, with a total power-generation capacity of 1,041 MW.

Pattern's net profit rose to $29.14 million for the firstsix months of 2013, from $6.44 million a year earlier. Revenuerose 62 percent to $102.54 million.

The company is expected to benefit from the extension of acritical tax credit by the U.S. Congress in January.

Siemens AG, the world's No.3 maker of windturbines, said last month that it expects the global wind powermarket to more than quadruple by 2030, lifted by strong growthin Asia.

Pattern Energy's shares opened at $24.10 and touched a highof $24.30, valuing the company at $1.24 billion. Nearly 8million shares changed hands by 12:30 p.m. ET, making it one ofthe most heavily traded stocks on the Nasdaq on Friday.

"Based on this success, I would anticipate other suchfilings coming shortly," IPOscoop.com founder, John Fitzgibbonsaid.

Pattern Energy is headed by Mike Garland, who led the NorthAmerican infrastructure group of investment and advisory companyBabcock & Brown that was liquidated after the financial crisis.

Private equity firm Riverstone Holdings bought Babcock'swind energy business and named it Pattern Energy Group LP, theparent company of the listed entity.

BMO Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets and Morgan Stanleyare the underwriters for the IPO.

Pattern Energy shares were up 7 percent at $23.45 inafternoon trade on the Nasdaq.

The S&P Global Clean Energy Index has jumped 40percent from April, compared to an 8 percent rise in the broaderS&P 500.

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