SemiLEDs files for $172.5 million US IPO

A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission indicates that SemiLEDs plans a $172.5 million initial public offering of stock.

Hoping to capitalize on the potential of LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL), SemiLEDs will seek to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) to both expand manufacturing and lower component costs. The company registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell $172.5 million in shares.

SemiLEDs hasn't set a target share price, but the filing indicates that the offering will be underwritten by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, and Jefferies & Co. The stock will be traded on the NASDAQ exchange using the symbol LEDS.

In the filing, the company specifically identifies SSL as its target market. The filing references the projections from Strategies Unlimited (a sister business to LEDs Magazine) that component revenues for SSL will grow from $665 million in 2009 to $4.3 billion in 2014.

SemiLEDs' filing notes that the upfront cost of SSL will gate the size of the market. One of the company stated strategies is to "reduce cost through technology and manufacturing improvements." The filing also indicates a plan o expand manufacturing operations.

The company also claims in the filing that among its strengths is a vertical copper alloy chip structure. The technology presumably allows superior heat removal to sapphire-based structures and that thermal advantage translates to superior efficacy – reducing energy cost in SSL.

SemiLEDs both manufactures LED chips for sale and packages a portion of its production capacity for end component sales. The filing cites net revenue for the nine months ended May 31, 2010 as $24,275 million.

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