Energy Recovery, a San Leandro, Calif.-based firm which develops water desalination devices, has filed plans to list its shares on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “ERII.” The company expects its 14 million shares — 8.1 million of which will be offered by the firm itself, with the remaining 5.9 million to be sold by a stockholder group — to fetch between $7 and $9 apiece.
Its lead underwriters are Citigroup, Global Markets and Credit Suisse Securities; HSBC Securities, Janney Montgomery Scott and SEB Enskilda are also providing backing for the deal. The firm will primarily use the proceeds as working capital and to finance various general purposes though it may also make some acquisitions.
The public offering would give the company a market capitalization of $335.4 – 431.3 million. Energy Recovery’s devices rely on a process known as seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO), which consists of pushing seawater through filtering membranes under high pressure conditions, to produce freshwater.
Its primary product, the PX Pressure Exchanger, uses a rotor to transfer pressure energy from the high pressure concentrate/reject stream to the low pressure seawater stream — allowing it to recycle its own energy and reduce its consumption by 60 percent. Energy Recovery claims its device achieves a 98 percent energy efficiency, and that the 4,000 devices it has sold worldwide are helping desalination plants produce over 5.2 million cubic meters of freshwater a day while saving 500 megawatts.
Fears about an impending global water crisis have helped fuel investor interest in desalination, a technology once considered unattractive because of its inefficiency and high costs, in recent months. Other companies that have benefited from investors’ largesse are NanoH2O, a Los Angeles-based company that develops membrane materials to improve water desalination and reuse, and Seven Seas Water, a company based on the island of St. Thomas that operates in Caribbean municipalities.