* Files for IPO of up to $108 mln
* Proceeds for manufacturing expansion, working capital
NEW YORK, Jan 12 (Reuters) - China’s Daqo New Energy Corp, which manufactures polysilicon for solar panel makers, filed for an initial public offering of up to $108 million on Tuesday.
The company said it hopes to sell 6.5 million American Depositary Shares for between $12.50 and $14.50, each.
Solar companies struggled in 2009 against a global oversupply that forced them to cut prices and has pressured both revenue and margins.
MEMC Electronic Materials Inc WFR.N and other makers of polysilicon — the key raw material for the solar and semiconductor industries — have been hurt by a decline in silicon prices.
But demand has improved and investors are looking for signs that the industry will recover its sharp growth.
Recent IPO attempts have seen mixed results.
In December, Chinese thin film panel maker Trony Solar Holdings postponed indefinitely its IPO due to poor market conditions. The same month, California solar company Solyndra Inc filed for an IPO of up to $300 million.
Daqo said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it began commercially manufacturing polysilicon in July 2008. It said it plans to use net proceeds of about $78.2 million to expand its manufacturing facilities and for working capital.
Daqo also said it plans to move into solar panel module manufacturing, system integration, and installation.
The company said its top three customers during the first nine months were Yingli Green Energy YGE.N, ReneSola SOLA.L and a subsidiary of Sumec Hardware & Tools Co Ltd. They accounted for a combined total of 61 percent of revenue.
Daqo plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “DQ”.
The offering is being led by Piper Jaffray, Lazard Capital Markets, and Needham & Co. They have the option to purchase an additional 975,000 shares. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin in New York and Laura Isensee in Los Angeles)