Plans IPO

Kevin Newcomb

Updated · Dec 18, 2003

In what may be the second-most anticipated initial public offering by a technology company this year, San Francisco-based ASP Inc. announced Thursday that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

The most-anticipated, of course, is the widely rumored IPO of search engine Google, which financial analysts expect within the next 6 months. The search giant's offering, which is still in the planning stages, is one of the most anticipated in years because of the huge popularity of the site and the search sector.

The on-demand CRM space has been heating up lately, with CRM giant Siebel in October jumping into the fray with anew on-demand product, followed quickly by the purchase of competitor UpShot. Other key competitors include NetSuite, Salesnet from the hosted side and giants like Microsoft , Onyx , Oracle , PeopleSoft competing with both traditional CRM software as well as hosted offerings.

Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated will act as sole book runner for the offering, and co-managers will be Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., UBS Securities LLC, Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC, and William Blair & Company, L.L.C. All of the shares are to be sold by the company.

Recent IPOs have not approached the past successes of the dot-com days. This week, online travel reservations company Orbitz made its market debut to a less than stellar response.

There are not many publicly traded companies in the ASP space. Some of the few representatives of the sector include Corio , LivePerson , Ultimate Software and WebEx , as well as Citrix and Tarantella from the server-based computing arena.

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