Dear Nobao: It’s you, not them

May 27, 2011, 6:29 PM UTC

Nobao Renewable Energy Holdings, a Chinese energy efficiency company whose shareholders include The Carlyle Group and Silver Lake Partners, yesterday withdrew registration for a $167 million IPO. It told the SEC that its decision was made “in light of market conditions.”

Seriously? “Market conditions?” The only market conditions I see are positive, with both VC-backed and PE-backed companies sliding through the IPO window as if it were greased with butter. Particularly Chinese issuers.

And it’s not an energy/cleantech problem, since Solazyme (SZYM) yesterday raised $198 million in an up-sized offering. Nor is it a profitability problem, given that companies like ZipCar (ZIP) priced strong and even LinkedIn (LNKD) says that it will return to the red in 2011.

It obviously doesn’t matter much what rationale a company puts in a registration withdrawal notice, but at least be honest about it. For example, should I blame “market conditions” for why I currently can’t sell my Toyota Prius for $20k? Or should I blame the 130k miles and seat stains of unknown origin? Pretty sure it’s the latter

(h/t to @herbgreenberg)