MiaSolé: Aquired by Chinese Renewables Big Tuna
MiaSolé, the most technologically and commercially advanced VC-funded CIGS thin-film firm, just sold to China’s Hanergy for $30 million, according to documents sent to MiaSolé shareholders this week, obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
The most prominent names in the VC business could not help make thin-film solar work. Nor could they sell the firm at anything close to a positive exit. The remaining MiaSolé employees get to work at least another year, but the only other winners in this debacle would potentially be the Chinese acquirer. It would appear that the board did not want to invest any more, Hanergy was the only live prospect, and the board didn’t want a bankruptcy filing. The board is essentially giving this technology to the Chinese for 5 to 6 percent on the invested dollar.
MiaSolé has raised in the neighborhood of $500 million in VC funding since its founding in 2004. The firm raised most of a $125 million round F in February last year at a pre-money valuation of $550 million. Investors included Voyageur Mutual Funds III, Kleiner Perkins, Firelake Capital, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. Board members include KP’s John Doerr, Firelake’s Marty Lagod, VantagePoint’s Stephan Dolezalek, and Rob Chandra of Bessemer. The firm also closed on $55 million in convertible debt earlier this year.
We have communicated with a party with direct knowledge of the deal. Here are the highlights from that conversation.
- The bottom line is a $30,001,000 consideration from Hanergy to merge Miasole into Hanergy. The consideration would go first to secured creditors, and then noteholders.
- Series F, which has a liquidation preference over the other preferred series would get $1,000.00. This series had $106 million of investment so you might as well call it zero return.
- Series A through E get nothing. Common gets $0.00. The same for warrant and options.
- Merle McClendon, CFO, is getting a $1.65 million retention bonus, John Carrington, CEO, $3.6 million and Bob Baker, COO, $300,000.
- “On a final note, the remaining employees seem to be less than excited about the deal. Many were thinking there would be some carve out for employees.”
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