Majority GT Solar owner to sell 25m shares

GT Solar Holdings LLC, majority owner of GT Solar International Inc., will be cashing in on the Merrimack-based company’s stock rise, selling off 25 million shares and cutting its stake from a little more than half of the company to just over a third.The shares – which the company announced last week would go for $7.39 a share — would result, if all sold, in about $180 million.”There is no dilution in this sale,” said GT Solar spokesman Jeff Nestel-Patt. “We are not creating new shares, just selling existing ones.”The money would not go to the company but the LLC, which bought the company from co-founders Kedar Gupta and John Talbott in 2006. The LLC was started with investment funds affiliated with G3W Ventures LLC (formerly GFI Energy Ventures LLC), a private equity investment firm focused on the energy sector, and Oaktree Capital Management LP, a global alternative and non-traditional investment manager.The company went public two years later, a $480 million offering that resulted in a $90 million “dividend” to the investment group, leaving it with about 51 percent of the company.The latest sale knocks down the LLC’s stake to a 34.5 percent voting interest, or a little over 50 million shares.The sell-off was not done for any reason except to “cash out,” Nestel-Patt said. There will probably be one more sell-off so the original investors can “move on” and diversify their portfolio, he said.GT Solar manufactures both the equipment and the materials to make solar cells. The stock – which started off the year trading at about $6 a share — reached a high of $8.80 early this month, but the stock took a tumble, after the sell-off was announced. It closed Monday at $7.31, up 3 cents. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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