initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Carbonite files for a $106 million IPO

Carbonite Inc. of Boston, a leading provider of online data backup services, hopes to raise as much as $106 million in an initial public stock offering later this year.

In a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Carbonite said it plans to sell 6.25 million shares for $15 to $17 per share. Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch investment unit and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will act as the lead underwriters of the offering.

Carbonite first announced its plan to go public in May. The company, founded in 2005, lets consumers and small businesses back up their computer files by transmitting them over the Internet to a remote data center. Home computer users pay a flat fee of $59 per year for unlimited storage, although Carbonite downloads data from heavy users at a much slower rate, making the service less efficient for large data backups.

David Menlow, president of in Millburn, N.J., an independent research firm for the IPO market, said that there has been a resurgence in the market for IPOs, with 91 initial offerings in the United States so far this year, compared with 77 during the same period last year.

Carbonite says it has 1.1 million subscribers in 100 countries, and foresees booming demand for its backup service. “We believe that a decade from now, nearly every device that creates or stores data, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and digital cameras, will be backed up over the Internet,’’ the company said in its SEC filing.

But Carbonite faces competition from huge rivals, including EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, which operates the Mozy online backup service. Besides, Carbonite has yet to turn a profit. The company lost $25.8 million last year and $10 million in the first six months of 2011.

The company provides online backups for 1.1 million total customers including consumers and small to medium sized businesses. The company generated revenue of $38.6 million and a net loss of $25.8 million in 2010. In the first half of 2011 the company posted revenue of $27.2 million and a net loss of $10.0 million.

Carbonite charges consumers $59 for one year of service and has a separate plan for businesses.

Competitors include Prosoftnet, CHashPlan and VMWare’s Mozy, Symantec’s Norton, McAfee, SOS Online and others in related sectors such as DropBox. Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: CARB. Current investors with 5% or more of stock include Menlo Ventures, Performance Direct Investments, Crosslink Capital and First Plaza Group Trust.

Francesca's raises $170M from IPO of 10M shares

Women's boutique chain Francesca's Holdings Corp. said Friday that it raised $170 million from its initial public offering of 10 million shares.

The IPO was priced at $17 per share, above the $14 to $16 range the Houston company had expected the stock to fetch.

Francesca's is offering about 2.9 million of the shares in the offering. Selling shareholders, which include CCMP Capital Advisors LLC affiliates, are offering approximately 7.1 million.

The underwriters have the option to buy up to 1.5 million more shares from certain selling stockholders.

Francesca's will not receive any proceeds from shares sold by the selling stockholders. The company said in a recent regulatory filing that it anticipated net proceeds of about $44.1 million, after taking out expenses and the underwriter's discount and commissions. That anticipated amount was based on the stock being priced at $15 per share, the midpoint of its price range.

Francesca's plans to use its proceeds, coupled with borrowings from a revolving credit agreement, to pay off an existing credit line.

The shares will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the "FRAN" ticker symbol.

Francesca's boutiques are targeted to women between 18 and 35 and sell clothing, jewelry, accessories and other items. The company had net income of $16.9 million on revenue of $135.1 million for the fiscal year ended Jan. 29.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chefs' Warehouse shares open 13% on first trading day

Based in Ridgefield, CT
Primary Industry: Specialty Foods Distributors
2010 Sales: $330.1 mil
2010 Employees: 543
Proposed Ticker: CHEF
Offering Amount: $100.0 mil
Lead Underwriter: Jefferies & Company, Inc.

The company's stock opened at $17 a share on the Nasdaq, up 13% from its initial public offering price of $15. A total of 8 million shares were sold at the midpoint of its expected $14 to $16 range. It was recently at $16.98, up 13%.

Headquartered in Connecticut, The Chefs' Warehouse distributes a range of specialty food products from truffles to caviar, and claims to be the largest such firm in the New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles metro markets as measured by net sales.

It carries more than 11,500 items, and supplements the gourmet fare with basics such as cooking oils, milk and flour so that chefs can use the company as a primary food distributor.

The company, which was formed in 1985, has a customer base of more than 7,000 restaurants, country clubs, hotels, culinary schools and specialty food stores. According to its prospectus, chefs often are introduced to the company while attending a top culinary school, such as The Culinary Institute of America and The French Culinary Institute, both of which are customers.

The majority of its sales force, at about 125 workers, has formal culinary training, culinary degrees or prior experience working at a restaurant, a factor the company says helps it connect with its customers.

The Chefs' Warehouse plans to increase sales with existing customers by adding to its product selection, and to add new customers through sales efforts or acquisitions. In June, the company paid $9 million to purchase the inventory and some intangible assets of Harry Wils & Co., a specialty food distributor headquartered in the New York metropolitan area.

Dunkin’ Brands, Teavana Get Coffee-Stock Jolt

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Rallies in Dunkin’ Brands Inc. and Teavana Holdings Inc. after initial public offerings this week reflected growing investor interest in providers of specialty coffees and teas.

The chart illustrates the trend with an index consisting of Starbucks Corp., Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Inc. and a trio of smaller companies: Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc., Caribou Coffee Co. and Coffee Holding Co.
The coffee-stock gauge soared 95 percent this year through yesterday, trouncing a 3.4 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Starbucks, the group’s worst performer, rose 24 percent in advance of yesterday’s earnings report.
Dunkin’ Brands, the operator of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shops, climbed 47 percent on the first day of trading July 27 after the Canton, Massachusetts-based company’s IPO. Teavana, a seller of loose-leaf teas that’s based in Atlanta, surged 64 percent the next day in its stock-market debut.

“Teavana is riding in the wake of what happened with Dunkin’ Donuts, and the parallels are coming out,” David Menlow, president of in Millburn, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview yesterday. His firm has “buy” ratings on both companies. He doesn’t own shares of either.

The industry index assigned one-third weights to Starbucks and to Green Mountain, based on share prices at the end of last year. They had market values as of yesterday of $30 billion and $15.4 billion, respectively. Peet’s, Caribou Coffee and Coffee Holding collectively accounted for the other one-third of the
gauge, and each was weighted by its value as of Dec. 31.

Horizon Pharma opens flat post-IPO

The IPO of biopharmaceutical firm Horizon Pharma Inc. (HZNP) stuck close to its opening price in early trading Thursday.

The company's stock opened at $9 a share on the Nasdaq, flat with its initial public offering price. It sold 5.5 million shares at a price below its expected $10 to $12 range.

Though the stock's early performance wasn't too exciting, the fact that the deal got done at all is noteworthy. There hasn't been a pharmaceutical company IPO since late April, when Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SGNT) went public. Since then, volatile broader market conditions have weighed on new issuance in the sector, which is considered a higher-risk industry than most due to the early stage of many of the companies.

Horizon Pharma specializes in developing drugs for arthritis, pain and inflammatory diseases. In April the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a pill it created called Duexis that combines ibuprofen and famotidine. The combination is designed to reduce upper gastrointestinal ulcers in arthritis patients who ordinarily would take ibuprofen alone.

The company plans to launch the drug commercially in the U.S. in the fourth quarter. It has also submitted an application to sell the drug in the U.K., and expects a decision in the first half of 2012.

C&J Energy Services opens up 3% on its first day of trading; Closed +5.17%

Closed +5.17%

Oil and gas well service specialist C&J Energy Services Inc. (CJES) closed out a busy week in the U.S. IPO market Friday, making modest gains in early trading.

The company's stock opened at $30 a share on the New York Stock Exchange, up 3% from its initial public offering price of $29. A total of 11.5 million shares were sold at a price above its expected $25 to $28 range. It was changing hands recently at $30.45, up 5%.

Photo added Jan 6, 2012

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Teavana IPO rises 64% on its first trading day, raised about $121.4 million

A day after coffee chain Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. rose nearly 47% following its initial public offering, tea retailer Teavana Holdings Inc. shot even higher, gaining 64% on its first day of trading.

Teavana and three other IPOs made their debuts Thursday; with a total of seven completed since Wednesday, it has been the busiest week for new stocks since February.

Teavana has raised about $121.4 million from its initial public offering of 7.1 million shares of common stock.
The offering was priced at $17 per share, above the $13 to $15 price range disclosed in a recent regulatory filing.  Teavana is offering about 1.1 million shares, while selling stockholders are offering approximately 6.1 million shares.

The company anticipates net proceeds of about $15 million, after estimated expenses as well the underwriter discount and commissions. Teavana plans to use the proceeds to redeem all outstanding shares of its Series A redeemable preferred stock and to pay back debt.

The underwriters have an option to buy up to an additional 1.1 million shares from certain selling shareholders to cover any excess demand. Teavana won't receive any proceeds from shares sold by the selling stockholders.

Teavana said it expects to have about 38 million shares outstanding immediately after the offering, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Teavana's stock closed at $27.80 on the New York Stock Exchange, up from its IPO price of $17. A total of 7.1 million shares were sold at a price above the stock's expected pricing range of $13 to $15.

The company reported net income of $12 million and revenue of approximately $124.7 million for the fiscal year ended Jan. 30.

Midland States expects 5 million-share IPO pricing at $15-$17 a share

Midland States Bancorp Inc. expects its initial public offering of 5 million common shares to price between $15 and $17 each.

The company originally filed plans in May to sell up to $75 million of common stock to fund long-term growth initiatives.

  • Midland States is the fourth largest bank holding company in Illinois
  • The Effingham, IL-based company booked $58 million in sales for the 12 months ended December 31, 2010

Midland States operates 29 banking offices in 23 communities, primarily in central and northern Illinois. Its 2010 profit slid 34% from the prior year due to higher non-interest expenses, although loan-loss provisions fell and net interest income jumped.

Midland States intends to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol MSBI.

Midland States was founded in 1881 as Effingham State Bank. But the company’s growth didn’t accelerate until recent years, after a 2005 name change. Since 2007, the company has acquired holdings in the Metro East, Champaign-Urbana and Springfield.

In SEC filings, company executives say they want to use the IPO to enhance opportunities for the company’s continued growth.

“We believe the banking landscapes in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana provide significant opportunities to large numbers of community banks currently operating in those states,” according to the filing. “We believe these fragmented markets and large numbers of potential targets will provide us with significant ongoing growth and considerable opportunities.”

The IPO would be based on slightly less than 4.25 million shares outstanding on June 1. According to the filing, the company believes risk factors include continued worsening of economic conditions and risks involved with pursuing acquisitions.

Bank President/CEO Leon Holschbach isn’t saying how many of those outstanding shares will be offered. In fact, Holschbach isn’t saying much of anything about the proposal, citing a “quiet period” mandated while the SEC reviews the bank’s filings.

SEC filings indicate, however, a proposed aggregate asking price of $75 million. Moreover, the bank would like to use MSBI as its stock exchange symbol.

The Private Bank of Eversman, Wood and Engbring was founded Sept. 1, 1881, by some of Effingham’s heavy hitters of the day. Dr. Henry Eversman had been mayor of Effingham, while attorney Benson Wood was mayor at the time the bank was founded. They were joined in the business with Benson’s older brother Virgil and Gerhard H. Engbring.

The founders incorporated the bank more than 20 years after its founding — on March 1, 1903 — and changed the name to Effingham State Bank. After a period of acquisitions, the name was again changed to Midland States Bank — reflecting the bank’s wider service area — on July 1, 2005.

As a sign of the bank’s stability, only nine men have served as its president in its 130-year history.

Current president Holschbach has been in charge since 2007.

Chefs' Warehouse (CHEF) started trading on the NASDAQ

Chefs’ Warehouse Holdings, LLC is a distributor of specialty food products in the United States. The Company focuses on serving the specific needs of chefs who own and/or operate independent restaurants, fine dining establishments, country clubs, hotels, caterers, culinary schools and specialty food stores.

Its product portfolio includes over 11,500 stock-keeping units (SKUs) and consists of imported and domestic specialty food products, such as artisan charcuterie, specialty cheeses, oils and vinegars, hormone-free protein, truffles, caviar and chocolate. It has locations in New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami.

The Company’s customers consist of chefs. It distributes its specialty food products to over 7,000 distinct customer locations primarily located in its six existing markets. On June 18, 2010, it acquired he assets of Monique & Me, Inc., doing business as Culinaire Specialty Foods.

Tangoe (TNGO) starts trading on the NASDAQ

Tangoe, Inc. is a global provider of on-demand communications lifecycle management (CLM), software and related services to a range of enterprises, including large and medium-sized businesses, and other organizations. The Company’s on-demand Communications Management Platform is a suite of software designed to manage and optimize the complex processes and expenses associated with this lifecycle for both fixed and mobile communications assets and services. Its customers can also engage the Company through its client services group to manage their communications assets and services using its Communications Management Platform.

Dunkin' adds another 2% on its second day of trading (Thur 7/28/11)

Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. rose another 2%, following a nearly 47% increase on its initial public offering day yesterday.  Wednesday, the doughnut purveyor's shares leapt $8.85, or 47%, to $27.85, giving it an enterprise value equivalent to a whopping 17 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

HomeAway says revenues up 41%

HomeAway Inc., Austin's newest public company, reported second quarter revenue growth of 41 percent Wednesday and said it will continue to add jobs in Austin.

In the first earnings report since its IPO last month, the company said that revenue was $58.7 million during the three-month period that ended June 30. That compares with $41.6 million for the same quarter a year earlier.

"It was a great quarter on all fronts, including fantastic revenue growth," CEO Brian Sharples said. "As long as we've got top-line growth, we're going to continue to add people, and we are going to be expanding significantly in Austin."

The company, which is the biggest player in the online vacation rental industry, has 908 employees, including 421 in Austin.

According to the job listing site, HomeAway is recruiting Austin developers, business analysts and technical support specialists, among other positions.

Sharples said HomeAway has leased a new facility in addition to its downtown headquarters on West Fifth Street to accommodate its rapidly growing workforce.

"This all means great stuff for the Austin economy and the Austin job market," Sharples said.

Additional details will be announced next week, a spokeswoman said.

HomeAway raised $149 million in its initial public offering. The company's stock began trading June 29 on the Nasdaq exchange, with an opening price of $27 per share. The stock price jumped about 50 percent the first day, closing at just above $40 per share. Its shares trade under the symbol "AWAY."

HomeAway has a $3.41 billion valuation.

Founded in 2005, HomeAway owns more than 30 websites, including, and, which list more than 625,000 vacation home rentals in 145 countries.

HomeAway was the Austin area's third company to have an IPO this year. Freescale Semiconductor Holdings raised $783 million, and San Marcos-based Thermon Group Holdings raised $120 million in May offerings.

Last week, Austin-based WhiteGlove Health Inc. began its initial public offering, which is using a "Dutch auction" method. The approach skips investment bankers and lets people make direct bids for the shares.

WhiteGlove plans to sell 2.5 million shares of stock in the IPO at between $9 and $13 a share, according to securities filings. It estimates its net proceeds could be $23.8 million.

The company has declined to comment on when the IPO will be completed, but IPO tracking services have listed it to close this week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Three IPOs Drop Off the Calendar

Citing “poor market conditions”, three firms pulled their initial public offerings from the calendar this week, which was expected to be the busiest for pricing activity since November 2007.

Defense contractor ADS Tactical and Uruguayan Union Agriculture made the announcement Wednesday, following the postponement of Orchid Island Capital’s IPO on Monday.

All three companies had warnings signs for investors, according to analysts.

ADS Tactical, which hoped to raise $204 million, is too heavily dependent on government contracts at a time when defense and government spending are under scrutiny, says Francis Gaskins, president of research firm IPO Desktop.

And company insiders recently took a lot of money out of the company through past dividends and bonuses, according to Renaissance’s Bard. “Insiders were also selling on the IPO, which is always a difficult sell.”

Union Agriculture Group, which grows crops and cattle in Uruguay, looked like an interesting asset play, says Bard, but it was too young and small to spark investor interest. The company planed to raise $200 million by offering 14.3 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15.

“This one was really more about timing and speaks to the current risk appetite in the market,” says Bard. When it comes to young firms, “the only deals investors are willing to look at seem to be Internet companies experiencing rapid growth.” Gaskins believes the firm is better suited for a private placement than for an IPO.

Orchid’s IPO postponement did not come as a surprise to analysts. The company, which invests in residential mortgage-backed securities, cut its offering size last week to 5.2 million shares at a price of $8, from 7.5 million at a range of $10.00 to $12.00.

“It was a newly-formed entity that lacked a meaningful track record or unique investment case”, says Bard.

Six more deals are expected to price this week: Horizon Pharma (HZNP), Teavana (TEA), The Chefs Warehouse (CHEF), Wesco Aircraft (WAIR), WhiteGlove Health (WGH), and C&J Energy Services (CJES).

Apartment Owner Morgan Properties Seeks $800 Million in IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Morgan Properties Trust, a partner with American International Group Inc. in the 2007 purchase of thousands of U.S. apartments, is seeking $800 million in an initial public offering.

Morgan Properties announced its IPO today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based company didn’t say how many shares it will offer or at what price.

The real estate investment trust, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Morgan, owns 94 properties in middle- income suburbs of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Washington, according to the regulatory filing. Total revenue climbed by almost 50 percent to $130.8 million last year.

“These properties give them a big portfolio that’s generating a lot of income that will be attractive to public market investors,” said Ben Thypin, director of market analysis for Real Capital Analytics Inc., a New York-based researcher. “Prior to this, they didn’t have the scale to justify being a public firm.”

Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are leading the offering. The company, which plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MPT, expects to use the proceeds to repay debt.

Mitchell Morgan, 56, is the REIT’s largest shareholder, according to the filing. A phone message left at the company’s general number wasn’t immediately returned.

Deal With AIG

AIG in 2007 bought 86 apartment complexes, mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, in partnership with Morgan for $1.9 billion from Kushner Cos., a New York-based company then headed by Charles Kushner and his son Jared. The deal was close to the peak of U.S. real estate values, which plunged more than 40 percent over the next two years.

Morgan sued AIG in February 2009, saying the insurer’s “self-induced financial collapse” led it to delay payments for apartment renovations. The complaint referred to the 2007 deal as “one of the largest private offerings of multifamily projects ever offered for sale.”

AIG began considering the sale of its stake in 2010 as it sought to repay loans within its $182.3 billion government rescue package.

In January, Morgan bought out its partners in 76 apartment properties valued at about $1.5 billion, the company said in a statement. AIG was among the sellers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Jan. 11.

The insurer took title to some other apartments it once co- owned with Morgan, the newspaper said. Earlier this month, AIG sold 2,200 apartments acquired in the Kushner deal to Vantage Properties LLC and Angelo, Gordon & Co. for $241.5 million.

IPOs this week : July 25 - 29, 2011 (wk 30)

There are 11 IPOs scheduled for the week, making it the busiest since November 2007, according to IPO investment adviser Renaissance Capital. 

The heavy action is a continuation from last week, when Zillow Inc. (Z) and Skullcandy Inc. (SKUL) led a handful of companies into the public realm.

The influx in IPOs may be attributed to recent concern about the U.S. deficit, and the potential that capital may dry up if debate over the debt ceiling is not resolved.

One is ADS Tactical Inc., a U.S. defense supply-chain middleman specializing in tactical and operational equipment. The stock was expected to begin trading Friday under the proposed ticker “ADSI.”

The Virginia-based company hopes to raise $204 million by offering 12 million shares, valued at a price range of $16 to $18 apiece. ADS Tactical plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange with J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo Securities as the main underwriters. Sweet said that the talks in Washington over the debt ceiling “may be having an impact,” though earlier signs shows strong demand for the shares.

C&J Energy is also generating some buzz, Sweet continued. The Houston-based provider of fracturing services for the oil industry is also looking to join the NYSE under the symbol “CJES.”

The company plans to raise $305 million, offering 11.5 million shares at a price range of $25 to $28 a share. J.P. Morgan is again the underwriter, along with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Teavana Holdings is a specialty retailer of loose tea with 163 stores across the United States and 17 in Mexico. The Atlanta-based company will look to use the symbol “TEA” on the New York Stock Exchange. It is expected to offer 7 million shares priced between $13 and $15, in an effort to raise $100 million. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are the lead underwriters.

Four more companies will be looking to trade on the Big Board.

Energy company American Midstream Partners (AMID), agricultural firm Union Agriculture Group (UAGR), aerospace-part distributor Wesco Aircraft Holdings (WAIR) and health-care organization WhiteGlove Health (WGH) would bring the total NYSE offerings to eight.

The Nasdaq market is set to add three companies.

Food-product distributor Chefs Warehouse, communication management-software provider Tangoe Inc., and pharmaceutical firm Horizon Pharma Inc. are all expected to make their debuts this week. Horizon’s offering comes as the company plans to commercially launch its two main products, treating ulcers and arthritis pain.

All the companies are surely hoping to see some of the success of last week’s IPOs. Zillow closed at a 71% premium, while Francesca’s Holdings FRAN -2.19% , a women’s clothing boutique, saw a 63% pop.

Originally there were 12 IPOs expected for the week; however, Orchid Island Capital, a finance firm, chose to postpone its deal.

Dunkin' shares rise on first day of trading

Dunkin’ Brands Group shares begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker “DNKN”, with a nearly 40% pop above their IPO price in initial open-market trades.

Dunkin’ Brands Group, owners of the Dunkin’ Donuts chain, yesterday afternoon priced its initial public offering at $19 per share, higher than the original estimated range of $16 to $18.
The offering is for 22.25 million shares. Given that Dunkin’ expects to have 126 million shares outstanding after the offering, the company would be valued at $2.4 billion.

The doughnut seller, with 6,800 U.S. locations, enticed investors with plans to more than double its U.S. store count in 20 years after outpacing McDonald's Corp.'s revenue growth last year. Recently, the Canton, Massachusetts-based chain has sought to draw customers in the afternoon with snack foods including pepperoni-stuffed breadsticks.

In the U.S., where most of its stores are in New England and New York, Dunkin' plans to open as many as 250 new locations per year in 2011 and 2012, with a goal of 15,000. The chain has about 9,800 global locations. Dunkin' also franchises about 6,500 Baskin-Robbins ice cream shops globally, its filing showed.

The company was founded when Bill Rosenberg opened his first restaurant in the 1940s, which was later renamed Dunkin' Donuts. Revenue at Dunkin' last year jumped 7.3 percent, compared with 5.8 percent at McDonald's, the world's biggest restaurant chain, which serves the McCafe line of coffees.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. led the Dunkin' offering. Underwriters have an option to buy an additional 3.3 million shares within 30 days.

More details are available in the company’s IPO prospectus.

Energy IPOs: C&J Energy, American Midstream

This week's busy IPO calendar has two energy names -- American Midstream Partners (AMID), which priced at the top of its range late Tuesday and is having a mostly flat debut; and C&J Services (CJES), which specializes in fracking, a controversial drilling method.

C&J is looking to raise roughly $305 million through the sale of 11.5 million shares at an estimated range of $25-$28 each. The driller concentrates its drilling in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, where there are few restrictions on this type of drilling as opposed to New York, which has outlawed the method.

Francis Gaskins, president of IPO Desktop, likes C&J but has a complaint that the company's been inconsistent at times about how much stock it's looking to sell, saying in its original S-1 filing in late March that it was selling 29 million shares at $14.40 each.
While the deal's terms appear to have changed, Gaskins says: "It makes you wonder what the insiders know that makes them want to sell."

Aside from that confusion, C&J looks good. The revenues have been increasing, gross margin is up and the company is making a profit. It does have some major competition in Halliburton (HAL)Schlumberger (SLB) and Baker Hughes (BHI), but it seems to have carved out a decent market share.

C&J operates four different fracturing fleets, as well as a fleet of 14 coiled tubing units and numerous pumps. Its focus on technically demanding drilling has set the company aside from its competitors and given it a niche.
Of American Midstream, which raised $75 million in its market debut, Gaskins says simply: "There are better limited partnership deals to choose from."

American Midstream was formed to acquire a portfolio of natural gas assets. The general partner is looking to use the money raised in the IPO to repay debt and pay itself a handsome fee. Insiders will receive $30 million of the proceeds. The business isn't doing all that well with the last profitable year dating back to 2008, which likely explains the yawns the stock is drawing on Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dunkin' goes public with IPO Tuesday, may raise more than $400 million

Dunkin Brands, the owner of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins is scheduled to go public on NASDAQ Tuesday with an opening price of about $17 a share.

The Massachusetts company's initial public offering is expected to raise over $400 million. Most of the proceeds from the IPO will be used to pay down debt.

Dunkin' Brands plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol DNKN.

The Canton, Massachusetts-based company wants to double the number of Dunkin' Donuts outlets in the United States over the coming 20 years.

Dunkin' Donuts has an extremely loyal following in the United States, where it touts itself as a seller of coffee for the working class. The chain lags bigger rival Starbucks Corp (SBUX) when it comes to U.S. store numbers, but has successfully challenged its bigger rival in the grocery aisle.

Dunkin' Brands, which also owns the Baskin-Robbins ice cream store brand, plans to sell 22.25 million IPO shares at $16 to $18 per share, according to a regulatory filing.

If the IPO price lands at the range's midpoint of $17 per share, Dunkin' Brands' market value would be about $2.15 billion.

Based on those figures, the company's shares would trade at 3.7 times 2010 sales, a richer valuation than Starbucks, which at the close of trade on Monday traded at 2.8 times calendar 2010 sales.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Apple possibly in talks to buy Hulu

According to anonymous sources quoted by various publications, including Bloomberg, Apple and streaming video service Hulu are in talks about a possible sale of Hulu to the iPhone maker. 

Hulu had previously been looking to tender an initial public offering (IPO), but more recent reports have indicated that the company is shopping itself around.

Apple, with its popular iTunes store, which already sells, and rents, TV episodes and movies in addition to music, would seem like a reasonably good fit for subscription-based Hulu.

Bloomberg estimates that Hulu's value is in the neighborhood of $2 billion. Apple does not have a history of large acquisitions like that, though, having never spent more than $400 million in the past, claims Bloomberg. For their respective parts, both Apple and Hulu are declining to comment.

Proto Labs files for IPO of up to $100 million

Proto Labs Inc. filed for an initial public offering of up to $100 million of its shares as the maker of low-volume custom parts looks to raise funds for working capital and other purposes.

The market for IPOs remains busy, with 11 deals on the calendar for this week. If they all manage to price, it would be the busiest week since November 2007.

Proto Labs didn't release further financial terms in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The $100 million figure is used to compute a registration, and such estimates often change later.

The company's customers typically order low volumes of parts because they need a prototype to confirm the form, fit and function of components of products under development, to support pilot projects or because the product will be released in a limited quantity.

For the quarter ended March 31, Proto Labs reported that its earnings soared to $2.4 million as revenue climbed 41% to $22.3 million.

The company has applied to list its stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol PRLB.

July a hot month for IPOs

July is turning into one of the hottest months in recent memory for initial public offerings.

Already this month, several high-profile companies including Zillow, Skullcandy and Francesca’s have begun selling shares publicly. Capping off the month, shares in Dunkin’ Brands are widely expected to start trading this week, along with a handful of other companies.

The rash of offerings comes as the IPO market finally starts to thaw after several years of economic uncertainty, more recently compounded by worries about the national debt. Those worries have delayed some offerings, but now many companies are moving forward.

"You have a big backlog of deals in the pipeline — quality-type companies, well-known companies — that are starting to muscle past this blockage," said John Fitzgibbon, founder of IPO

Fizgibbon's website lists at least 18 companies that either are expected to begin trading this month or already have completed their IPOs. That could make this the busiest July since 2007, before the onset of the credit crisis.

The busy month comes on the heels of several other highly publicized public offerings earlier this year from well-known Internet companies including LinkedIn and Pandora.

The "rocket-shot" opening days seen in some of the offerings, such as Zillow's explosive debut , have inevitably revived memories of the dot-com boom and subsequent bust. But experts say that despite the renewed excitement about public offerings, things are far tamer than a decade ago.

"This isn’t like insanity-dot-com of 1999 and 2000," Fitzgibbon said.

Investors, many of whom were battle-scarred by the big bets and big losses of the dot-com era, appear to be paying closer attention now to whether these new companies have shown true potential for shareholders.

"Investors appear to be a bit more savvy, a bit more informed, and they’re not just picking anything that’s coming down the line," said David Menlow, president of

Many of the companies going public this month can point to stronger foundations than generally seen in the dot-com era, when hot frequently companies rushed to the public markets with little evidence of how they planned to turn a profit in the years to come.

Zillow, the online real estate marketplace that went public last week, has been methodically building and expanding its business since its founding in 2004. Dunkin’ Brands, which is expected to go public this week, is parent to a well-known consumer brand that has been around for more than 50 years.

Still, even a longer track record and a hot brand is no guarantee that these initial public offerings will do well. Economic conditions are improving quite slowly, and investors remain skittish.

Shares in LinkedIn, the social networking site for jobseekers, dipped sharply shortly after the company went public in May, although shares have recovered in recent weeks.

Pandora Media, the Internet-based music offering, also saw shares fall following its debut on the public market in June.

Another hotshot social media company, Groupon, attracted some skepticism earlier this year after revealing plans to file for an IPO – along with a record of hefty losses. Still, many are hotly awaiting the daily deal company’s public offering.

And of course there is wild and incessant speculation about when social media’s 800-pound gorilla, Facebook, might finally begin selling its stock to the general public.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Zillow up 79%

The company’s initial public offering which priced this week produced the third-highest 1-day return this year for U.S. IPO, according to Dealogic.

The stock was up 79%, behind Qihoo 360 Technology Co. QIHU which had a 1-day close of 134.5% and LinkedIn Corp’s LNKD 1 day close up 109.4% on its offer price. Zillow Z isn’t profitable. It posted a $6.7 million loss last year on revenue of $30.4 million. It’s first-day closing price was about 50% higher than most analysts’ price targets.

Still, Zillow’s IPO success is notable because of its small float. Zillow offered just 3.5 million shares, a 13% stake in the company. It’s not unlike the strategies used by LinkedIn and HomeAway Inc. AWAY.

Combined, small float companies have turned out to be great cash-outs for venture capital firms. One-in-three IPOs this year was backed by VCs – the top 15 1-day returns on all IPOs went to companies backed by VCs, according to Dealogic.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Buyouts replace IPOs as top exit strategy

Cash-rich companies opt to buy instead of build, to the benefit of NY's entrepreneurs facing a still-thin IPO market.

Silicon Alley watchers were wowed with Google's announcement last month that it had agreed to buy Admeld, a Manhattan-based firm that helps websites sell ad space. They were even more impressed by the reported purchase price, an estimated $400 million.
Google-Admeld could be just the beginning. Analysts expect the M&A market to get hotter when Facebook, Groupon and Twitter go public and start spending IPO cash to shore up gaps in their services. Google made 26 purchases last year and has toted up 14 deals so far this year. Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, has said that the search giant is making more deals for small companies.
“I don't see this as some kind of bubbly, short-term phenomenon, but an active sector for some period of time,” said M&A adviser Terence Kawaja of Manhattan-based Luma Partners, which counseled Admeld in the deal. “The amount of innovation is only accelerating. I think we're in for a long run. … My business is exploding.”
Being acquired is emerging as a popular exit strategy for founders facing a still-weak IPO market, in which hurdles for going public have been rising. Smaller startups, in particular, may have customers and compelling technologies, but not a long-term stand-alone business. They occupy “a very tentative and unpredictable life space,” said Bruce Niswander, director of technology transfer at Polytechnic Institute of New York University. “If Google changes one thing or Facebook does something different, it could cut the legs out from under many of these applications.”
Although companies in the ad space are among the hottest acquisition targets, the Google-Admeld deal has reportedly attracted antitrust interest from the Department of Justice.
Buyers, meanwhile, are trying to develop soup-to-nuts capabilities in an increasingly fragmented and inefficient market for online ads. For example, there can be as many as five players between creation and delivery, with each player taking a cut.
“There's a need among marketers and publishers for simplification of the process of buying and selling,” said Joe Apprendi, CEO of Collective, a Manhattan-based firm that has bought three companies in 2011 as it builds an integrated platform to serve advertisers and publishers. “The market is begging for simplicity; it's begging for consolidation.”
The acquisition trend began last fall and started picking up steam this spring. At least 10 New York companies have been acquired in the 12 months through June—five of them in just the past six months. Last summer, Google picked up Invite Media, an ad-tech startup that works with advertisers to deliver display ads across various websites.
Adobe acquired Demdex, which helps advertisers target online audiences, in January. In April, Chicago-based MediaBank bought AdBuyer, whose technology helps companies purchase ad space; Dallas-based DG announced last month that it would buy publicly held MediaMind.
New York-based companies are emerging as buyers, too. Last fall, Operative Media acquired a fellow New Yorker, Solbright, which helps websites manage their advertising. During the same period, Undertone scooped up video company Jambo Media, both local firms. And two months ago, Manhattan-based Spinback sold itself to local player Buddy Media to speed “product development and expansion in a shorter period of time than … through any typo of Series A financing,” said Andrew Ferenci, co-founder of Spinback and director of product development for Buddy Media.
Being acquired is not an unalloyed boon for sellers' companies. Facebook bought two New York firms last year, hired the founders and shut down the operations. Google, criticized for poor integration, recently said it was taking steps to make being part of a big organization easier for entrepreneurial types by giving an acquired groups more autonomy, as it did with YouTube.
Additionally, payoffs in acquisitions are often not as big or widespread as they are in a successful IPO. That includes venture capitalists, although they can redeploy their money rather than wait for an uncertain IPO. Investors don't necessarily favor companies whose only possible endgame is being acquired.
“Investors are looking for return on capital,” says entrepreneur and angel investor Jeff Stewart of Urgent Group. “They like to see multiple choices, because that's how you get the best deal on your exit.”
Still, “there's enough money in the ecosystem for folks to see getting acquired as a good, reasonable exit,” said Ben Kartzman, CEO of Manhattan-based Spongecell, a company that helps brands deliver video and interactive ads.
While Mr. Kartzman said that Spongecell isn't looking to be acquired, he acknowledged that “there are definitely companies sniffing around.”

Zillow's (Z) stock more than tripled after its IPO

Zillow's (Z) stock more than tripled after its IPO Wednesday, then fell back to settle up a 79% at the close.

Zillow tracks home values across the country, offers the data online, and sells ads on its site to make money. It had only $30.4 million in revenue last year and lost $6.7 million. Those numbers are modest, but not modest enough to keep the firm from having a market cap now of almost $950 million, a breathtaking multiple of sales.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cathay Industrial Biotech plans a $90 million IPO

Cathay Industrial Biotech, filed with U.S. regulators on Tuesday to raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering of American Depositary Shares.

The Shanghai-based industrial biotechnology producer, plans to price 6.9 million ADRs at $12 to $14 per share for a $89.7 million offering.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Securities and Jefferies would be underwriting the offering.

Cathay Industrial plans to list its shares on Nasdaq under the symbol "CBIO."

The Shanghai-based company said that besides expanding its production and research facilities, it would use the proceeds of the offering to further develop and commercialize biobutanol - an industrial solvent.

The organic chemical company produces plant-based alternatives to specialty chemicals usually made by petrochemical companies. Its drop-in bio products are less expensive to make and can be used in the same systems as their chemical alternatives. Cathay's long-chain dicarboxylic acids (LCDAs) are used in nylon, plastic, lubricants, and powder coatings.

The company is also the world's largest maker of biobutanol, an industrial solvent used in paint, resins, coatings, pharmaceuticals, and food-grade extractants. Major customers include DuPont, IFF, and Novo Nordisk. Cathay traces its roots to 1997.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Timwe files for a $181 million IPO

Timwe, a Lisbon, Portugal-based mobile monetization company, plans to offer 11.25 million shares at $12 to $14 each

The company's software-based technology platform allows wireless network operators to offer multimedia cell phone content, so users can download music, watch videos, send messages, receive ad-based messages, and make payments on their mobile phones.

  • Headquarters: Lisbon, Portugal
  • Website :
  • Core markets are in Latin america: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico
  • Does not do business in the US

The company also develops digital marketing campaigns for third-party and proprietary mobile entertainment. TIMWE works with more than 280 carriers such as América Móvil, Telefónica, and VIVO in its core markets of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. TIMWE, which does not do business in the US, filed an initial public offering worth $181 million in July 2011.

Dave & Buster's files for a $150 mln IPO

Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc., operator of a chain of dining and entertainment venues in North America, filed plans to raise $150 million in an initial public offering to pay down debt.

Founded in 1982, Dave & Buster's operates 56 stores in 24 states and Canada, as well as one franchised location in Canada. The company's locations sell food and drinks, while offering children and adults a variety of video games, sports-oriented games, interactive simulators and other traditional games.

Dave & Buster's changed hands last year, when Wellspring Capital Management agreed to sell the chain to Oak Hill Capital Partners in a $570 million deal. Wellspring had taken Dave & Buster's private in 2006 for about $257 million in cash plus debt. It replaced the company's founders with new management, expanded the chain and in 2009, filed to take it public again. But the public markets hadn't been receptive to restaurant stocks, leading to the sale to Oak Hill.

According to the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dave & Buster's has implemented a number of initiatives to cut costs and streamline operations, while also recently re-engineering its menu. Each of Dave & Buster's locations also contains a bar.

For the quarter ended May 1, Dave & Buster's reported its profit rose 32% as revenue climbed 5% to $148.6 million.

The company intends to list its shares on either the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol PLAY.

Norwegian Cruise Line files for a $250 million IPO

Norwegian Cruise Line, the smallest of the three major North American cruise brands, has filed to become a public company – again.

Under a new parent company name, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the company filed for an initial public offering in the United States, nine months after it filed an IPO as NCL Corporation Ltd., with an offering of up to $250 million in shares.

In today's filing, called an S-1 registration, Norwegian said that it expects to list its shares on NASDAQ under the symbol NCLH, and that it intends to use the proceeds from the share sale to pay down some of its debt.

In a statement, Norwegian said it withdrew its prior S-1 registration under NCL Corporation Ltd., and that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. will be the name of the new parent company upon completion of the offering.
Norwegian's first filing for an IPO came last October, the day after it announced a new, two-ship order for delivery in 2013 and 2014 that will expand its capacity by more than 30%.

Norwegian is privately owned by Asian cruise and gaming company Genting HK (which has a 50% stake) and two financial firms, Apollo Management (37.5%) and TPG Capital (12.5%).

The cruise line, far smaller than North America's two largest cruise companies, Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., has undergone major changes since Apollo purchased it in 2008.

Many of Norwegian's top executives were replaced and the new management made sweeping changes to the line's itineraries, onboard service and amenities. One the most extreme was the downsizing of Norwegian's once four-ship strong Hawaii program, a money-losing operation that is now down to one vessel, the Pride of America.