IRVINE, Calif. – Autobytel.com, an Internet service for the purchase of new and used vehicles, went public March 26. The company offered 4.5 million shares at $23 a share, well above the $20 to $22 filing range.
The $103.5 million IPO left 17.8 million shares outstanding, and proceed will be used for general corporate purposes.
Underwriters were BT Alex. Brown Inc., Lehman Brothers and Paine Webber Inc.
Venture investors include GE Equity Capital Group Inc., Aureus Private Equity AG and MediaOne Interactive Services Inc. There were two selling shareholders, and both individually sold 500,000 shares a piece.
Autobytel.com formed its new vehicle purchasing services in May 1995 and its pre-owned cyberstore in April 1997. Apart from listing new and used cars, autobytel.com offers research, finance, insurance, reward programs and warranty information. The company works in conjunction with a network of 2,700 dealers in the United States and Canada, and dealers represent a franchise for a particular vehicle make.
Jeffery Coats, managing director of GE Equity Capital Group Inc., joined the board in August 1996. Peter Titz, manager of Metro International Dienstleistung Beteiligungs AG, joined the board in January, followed a month later by Richard Post, president, executive vice president and CFO of MediaOne Group Inc.
Autobytel.com – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
Inception (January 31, 1995) Years Ended December 31,
to December 31, 1995 1996 1997 1998
Revenue 274 5,025 15,338 23,826
Basic net loss per share -0.12 -0.73 -2.03 -2.3
Pro forma basic net loss per share
-0.12 -0.68 -1.53 -1.49