UK clean tech to try luck in uncertain IPO market

LONDON Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:34am EST

LONDON (Reuters) - British companies involved in the waste and energy efficiency sectors are considering flotations to raise funds for growth even as the IPO market remains uncertain. After companies such as TravelCentury and New Look canceled plans earlier this year, others including UK education technology group Promethean and a former British Land team are now returning to test the water.

One clean tech company mulling a flotation on London's junior AIM market is environCom, a Glasgow-based recycler of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

It has a five-year contract with Europe's No.2 electricals retailer DSG International and needs funds to open more plants to meet growing demand for WEEE recycling on the back of British and European regulation.

"AIM is an option that we are seriously considering," said environCom CEO Joe Quigley.

"At this stage we have no preference for public or privately raised capital," he added. "We are keeping our options open."

Other companies looking at possibly entering public life include solar power company Solar Century, biofuels firm TMO Renewables and waste-to-energy firm Genwat, which said last year it wanted to float in the first half of 2010.

According to a survey conducted by fund-raising consultancy Carbon International, 65 percent of green venture capital and private equity firms believe an IPO could be a feasible exit for at least one of their investments over the next two year.

However, the vast majority -- 87 percent -- of the 90 investors surveyed see a trade sale as a more likely exit.

Big IPOs scrapped in favor of a sale in recent months include German cable firm Unitymedia and UK retailer Pets at Home.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by David Cowell)