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UPDATE 3-Array Technologies shares close 66% higher after Nasdaq debut

(Adds closing price)

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Shares of Array Technologies surged nearly 66% in their Nasdaq debut on Thursday, valuing the solar power equipment maker at more than $4.6 billion, while underscoring investor appetite in a red-hot market for initial public offerings.

The Albuquerque-based company’s shares opened at $29.50 after its upsized IPO was priced at $22 per share, above the upper end of its target range. Array shares rose 65.7% to close trading at $36.45.

Backed by asset manager Oaktree Capital, Array raised about $1.05 billion in its IPO after selling 47.5 million shares. Its IPO had earlier aimed to sell 45 million shares at a price range of between $19 and $21 per share.

Array’s IPO comes as global energy consumption is shifting away from fossil fuels to sustainable sources such as solar and wind.

It is also in line with the recent trend of strong investor appetite for new listings, with 2020 on track to be the best year for IPOs since the dotcom boom of 1999 and 2000.

“We’re really at the early innings with the place solar can go,” Array Chief Executive Jim Fusaro said in an interview. “Utility scale solar is at cost parity with natural gas and other industrial plants, add that to global trends with renewables and focus on decarbonization.”

Array, founded in 1989, produces steel supports, electric motors and controllers, gear boxes and other solar energy equipment. As of the end of June, the company had $749.2 million in debt.

Oaktree Capital bought an undisclosed stake in Array in 2016.

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Guggenheim Securities and Morgan Stanley are among the lead underwriters of the offering.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Marguerita Choy and Cynthia Osterman

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