Raser Technologies sells block of stock to unidentified investors

Energy » The geothermal power producer will receive $23.8M from the transaction.
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Raser Technologies, gradually morphing from a start-up company to an operating geothermal power producer, has completed the sale of shares and warrants to unidentified institutional investors, who bought 13 percent of Raser's stock.

The Provo-based company refused to say who the buyers were or why they wanted the stock. None, however, bought more than 5 percent, which would have triggered a Securities and Exchange requirement to state their intentions.

With the sale, institutional investors now control 30 percent of Raser, formed in 2003.

"I can tell you that the majority of the investors are focused on clean tech[nology] and alternative energy. Some are technology funds while others are general funds," Issa Arnita, director of investor relations, said Tuesday.

Raser's stock closed at $2.46, down 4 cents per share Tuesday.

The investors bought 8.5 million shares and warrants for another 4.2 million shares for $25.5 million. After deducting transaction expenses, Raser received $23.8 million.

Raser will use the proceeds to help finance plans to develop future power geothermal power plants. The cash, plus additional funds it hopes to raise from unnamed partners, "will allow the company to obtain plant construction financing for the power projects it is currently developing" in Beaver County, Raser said in a statement.

Last week, Raser reached a preliminary agreement to build a 110-megawatt geothermal plant at the site near Milford and sell the power to the Southern California Public Power Authority, a consortium of 11 cities and an irrigation district.

The agreement is not binding. But if the project goes ahead, the consortium would provide $400 million toward the cost of construction and Raser would provide the balance, about $125 million.

Raser also wants to build a 42-megawatt plant at the geothermal site, where it is already generating and transmitting 11 megawatts of electricity to the city of Anaheim, Calif. Anaheim is a member of the consortium.

Raser has 60 employees. Its shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The company lost $7.7 million in its latest quarter, ended March 31.

Raser is also developing a hybrid electric propulsion system that could turn Hummers and other gas guzzlers into green vehicles.

Pacific Gas and Electric has agreed to buy two trucks equipped with the system.