BLOOMBERG - Trina Solar Ltd., the world’s biggest manufacturer of photovoltaic panels, plans an initial public offering of a “growthco” unit that would absorb capital-intensive solar farms it develops.

Chief Financial Officer Teresa Tan said the new entity would be focused on expansion, a contrast with the “yieldco” model adopted by U.S. companies that pays investors dividends from solar farms that are operating and generating a steady flow of income.

“We see great potential return on downstream solar farms in the next 25 years, so we’d like to spin off this part of the business in order to have a separate platform for financing,” Tan said in an interview at the World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian, China. “The timing for such an IPO is maybe next year or the following year. We will try to speed up the process.”

The comments suggest an alternative to yieldcos, which have raised more than $12 billion in the past 2 1/2 years. The value of those companies has swollen to $28 billion as investors seeking steady returns at a time of rock-bottom interest rates snapped up the offerings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


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