UPDATE 1-BrightSource Energy files for up to $250 mln IPO
* Proceeds to go to capital spending, working capital
* Company has lost $177.3 mln since its inception
* Construction on hold at Ivanpah second and third phases
* More desert tortoises found than originally expected
By Nichola Groom (Adds byline, suspension of construction at solar plant)
LOS ANGELES, April 25 (Reuters) - Solar power company BrightSource Energy Inc filed with U.S. securities regulators for an initial public offering of up to $250 million, a major step toward what is likely to be one of the hottest clean technology market debuts of the year.
BrightSource, which is building a massive solar thermal power plant in the California desert, said it plans to use the proceeds from the sale for capital expenditures and working capital.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, the Oakland, California-based company gave no details on how many shares it plans to sell or their expected price. Nor did it disclose the symbol it will trade under or the market where it will list the shares.
Goldman Sachs & Co, Citi and Deutsche Bank Securities would underwrite the IPO, the company said.
The amount of money a company initially says it plans to raise in its IPO is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO can be very different.
In the filing, BrightSource said it has lost $177.3 million since its inception through the end of 2010. For the year that ended Dec. 31, 2010, the company had a net loss of $71.6 million, while operating activities used cash of $51.4 million.
"We expect that our net losses and our negative operating cash flows will continue for the foreseeable future, as we increase our development activities and construct solar thermal energy projects," BrightSource said.
Also in the filing, BrightSource said construction at the second and third phases of its Ivanpah solar power project were on hold pending the issuance of a revised biological opinion by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management ordered the company to suspend construction on the second and third Ivanpah sites.
According to BLM spokeswoman Erin Curtis, many more of the threatened desert tortoises had been found on the site than had been originally anticipated. BLM now expects to find about 140 desert tortoises on the site compared with an original estimate of about 40, Curtis said.
BrightSource would not comment specifically on the suspension, citing SEC regulations.
According to the company's filing, affiliates of venture capital firm VantagePoint Capital Partners hold a 24.9 percent stake in BrightSource, the filing said, while French power company Alstom SA (ALSO.PA) has a 17.8 percent stake. Morgan Stanley (MS.N) has a 10.5 percent stake, while affiliates of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson have a 6.7 percent stake.
The company's founder, Arnold Goldman, holds 7.5 percent of BrightSource shares, while Chief Executive John Woolard has 1.6 percent. (Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Steve Orlofsky and Andre Grenon)