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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Smith Electric Vehicles Files to Raise $125 Million in IPO

Smith Electric Vehicles Corp., the maker of battery-powered commercial vehicles, filed for an initial public offering to raise as much as $125 million.

The maker of Newton and Edison trucks and buses will use the proceeds to pay down debt that matures in 2014 and for general corporate purposes, according to a U.S. regulatory filing today. Smith Electric has factories in Kansas City, Missouri, where it’s based, and near Newcastle, U.K.

Customers of Smith Electric’s zero-emission vehicles include Coca-Cola Co., FedEx Corp. and the U.S. military, according to the filing. Its Newton trucks, which began production in October 2009, have a maximum payload of about 16,000 pounds (7,400 kilograms) and can go as far as 150 miles per charge, the company said in the filing.

Smith Electric’s net loss in this year’s first half widened to $21.3 million from $9.52 million a year earlier, as revenue more than doubled to $37.6 million from $15.8 million, according to the filing. The company reported losses in each of the past three years, totaling $70.1 million.
Sales of Newton trucks are expected to reach 1,000 this year, five times the 2010 deliveries, the company said in January. The Kansas City plant assembles about 40 trucks a month, Chief Executive Officer Bryan Hansel said in December.

The Newton trucks sell for about $80,000 to $90,000 after deducting a federal tax credit of as much as $7,500 and rebates from state governments of as much as $5,000, according to Hansel. The vehicles’ cabs and chassis are made by Letnany, Czech Republic-based Avia Ashok Leyland Motors S.R.O. The batteries are provided by A123 Systems Inc. and Valence Technology Inc. (VLNC), and Enova Systems Inc. (ENA) supplies the electric drive systems.

UBS AG, based in Zurich, and Bank of America Corp., based in Charlotte, North Carolina, are managing the offering. Smith Electric said it will trade under the symbol SMTH.

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