Tees up IPO Price

Susan Hall

Updated · Apr 21, 2004 has amended its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for its upcoming IPO with an offer of 10 million shares.

The amended S1 filing prices the shares at between $7.50 and $8.50, which would value its initial offering between $75 million and $85 million.

The stock is slated to trade on the New York Stock Exchange with CRM as its ticker symbol.

In the same filing, the San Francisco-based company restated financials for its previous two years and added provisions to its bylaws that strengthen management control and discourage a takeover.

The amended bylaws let the board issue “blank check” preferred stock to increase the number of outstanding shares in order to make a hostile takeover more difficult. Board elections are staggered, and directors may only be removed “for cause” with the approval of 66.66 percent of stockholders.

The poison pill was a smart move, said University of Southern California finance professor Tom Taulli. “Things have gotten a little hostile in the software world, in light of what Oracle has done [with its takeover attempt of PeopleSoft], and has become a force to be reckoned with.”

While Peoplesoft's response to Oracle's buyout offer was, “Over my dead body,” Taulli said, research shows that tactics like poison pills and certified boards tend to increase the value of takeover offers.

While Taulli thinks the company should be
more worried about competition than an Oracle takeover, he said, “They've rocked the industry, so they are a target.”

Earlier this month, held splashy, bi-coastal events for its quarterly update release, which included a toolkit to let customers build their own custom applications. recently forged partnerships with BEA Systems to deliver a co-branded on-demand version of BEA's WebLogic Workshop 8.1. It also struck a strategic alliance with professional services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers and a deal with Nokia to provide mobile access to its CRM applications.

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