Ascent's $32m raise struck down

In a sharp reversal of fortune, Ascent Solar Technologies, the Colorado-based maker of flexible thin-film PV cells, says the $32m funding raise it announced last week has been cancelled.

Last week Nasdaq-listed Ascent said it had struck an agreement to sell $32m of senior convertible bonds to unnamed “institutional” investors, with $7m to come in upon the transaction closing, and the remaining $25m over the next 18 months.

The deal would have been the largest financing commitment for the company in years, and was touted as the foundation of its aggressive expansion plans, which include a future factory in China.

However, on Thursday Ascent revealed that the deal has been binned, as under an existing financing agreement the company required the consent of an unnamed third party -- who rejected it.

“We regret that the $32m financing agreement did not go through as planned,” says Ascent chief executive Victor Lee.

Ascent shares were down 5% by mid-day on Thursday, and are down more than 50% in 2014, despite the company having notched up rapid sales gains this year.

The company says it has struck a separate deal to sell 12 million shares to an “Asia-based investor” for $0.33 each, which will raise $3.96m.

That deal happened thanks to a “referral” by Ascent’s largest shareholder, TFG Radiant Investment Group.

“While this financing is not as large as the prior proposed transaction, it does provide the necessary capital infusion and foundation for us to raise additional funding to support our rapidly growing sales,” says Lee.

“It is extremely gratifying to have the support of our largest shareholder, and to know that we have access to their extensive network when needed.”