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NetSuite Raises IPO Price

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Posted December 19, 2007 By Larry Barrett     Feedback

Pre-IPO auction shows strong demand for the on-demand business software provider's stock.

NetSuite on Tuesday raised the price range for its highly anticipated initial public offering from between $13 a share and $16 a share to between $16 a share and $19 a share, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The revised price range, based on the issuance of 6.2 million common shares, would give the on-demand business applications provider a market capitalization of between $952.2 million and $1.13 billion.

The company said it plans to use the proceeds, expected to fall somewhere between $80 million and $100 million, to pay off an $8 million balance on a line of credit from its controlling shareholder, Tako Ventures, and possibly to make future acquisitions and infrastructure investments.

On Dec. 10, NetSuite initiated a modified Dutch auction format similar to the one used in 2004 to give individual investors an opportunity to help set its opening stock price.

Credit Suisse is serving as the book-running manager for the IPO with W.R. Hambrecht & Co. acting as co-manager. The auction-style offering was designed to give smaller individual investors a fair shot at owning shares in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)  pioneer.

Majority-owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, NetSuite set an initial price range of between $13 and $16 a share before adjusting the price to reflect the strong interest its auction garnered in the past week and change.

The company, which first announced its IPO plans in July, said Ellison would put his directly owned stake—roughly 60 percent of all outstanding shares—into a "lockbox," which effectively strips him of his voting rights in NetSuite endeavors and eliminates most of the conflict-of-interest concerns raised in his role as CEO of a significant competitor.

Founded in 1998, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company has yet to turn a profit, posting a net loss of $35.7 million in 2006 on sales of $67.2 million. In first three quarters of this year, it has lost more than $20.6 million.

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