Lehman's Fall Creates Solar Funding Woes

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Lehman had been one of the main underwriters for solar and other companies raising money, including debt financing, to build factories and solar farms.

Greentech startups will find it even harder to raise venture capital or go public in light of the financial market crisis triggered by the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) Monday, said investors and company executives attending the AlwaysOn GoingGreen Conference near San Francisco Tuesday.

The impact of Lehman's fall, which caused the worst point drop for the Dow Jones Industrial average since Sept. 11, 2001, is still emerging for greentech players. The investment house is the latest in a series of U.S. financial and mortgage institutions to have fallen on hard times.

Lehman had been one of the main underwriters for solar and other companies raising money, including debt financing, to build factories and solar farms. Its bankruptcy filing is the largest in U.S. history.

"The scale and severity of the turmoil is what surprised everyone," said Graham Barnet, chief executive of Sigma Capital Group, an asset management firm in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Barnet has seen more U.S. companies looking to raise money from European investors. "You would be very brave to do an IPO right now."

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