St. Peters, Mo.-based SunEdison (NASDAQOTH:SUNEQ) -- the company formerly known as MEMC Electronic Materials -- announced the next step in its transformation Thursday morning.

News that the company's Board of Directors has decided to spin off SunEdison's semiconductor business in an IPO as "SunEdison Semiconductor" sent the parent company's shares soaring in early Thursday trading. The spinoff will let SunEdison focus on its solar business. The IPO is slated to take place in early 2014.

As described in the company's press release, SunEdison will begin by selling off a minority ownership interest in the semiconductor business. Proceeds from the subsidiary's IPO will then be applied to paying down debt, as well as for other general corporate purposes.

SunEdison CEO Ahmad Chatila described the move as "the next evolution in our strategic plan to better position both our solar and semiconductor businesses for sustainable, long-term success," and predicted that "this new structure will allow each independent company to pursue its shareholder value generating strategies, focus on key markets and customers, optimize capital structures, and enhance access to growth capital for each company in the years ahead."

The company said further details on the spinoff will be in an SEC filing coming sometime in Q3 2013. The semiconductor business, which makes chips used in computers, phones, TVs and other electronic devices, made up more than half of SunEdison's second-quarter revenue.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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