Fusion-io IPO Prices Above Range, Says Source; Would Value NEA’s Shares Above $490M

(Reuters) – Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO), which makes storage memory hardware and software for data centers, priced its initial public offering on Wednesday at $19 per share, above its previously announced range, according to a market source.

The offering, which consisted of 12.3 million shares, raised $233.7 million. The company had earlier planned to sell shares for $16 to $18 apiece.

New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Lightspeed Venture Partners are Fusion-io’s largest shareholders, according to the company’s most recent S-1 filing. NEA’s 25.93 million shares would be worth $493 million at $19 per share, while Lightspeed’s 8.82 million shares would be worth $168 million. Neither venture firm plans to sell any shares in the IPO.

(The S-1 does not disclose the holdings of Fusion-io’s other venture backers, including Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Meritech Capital Partners and Sumitomo Corp. Those four investors, along with NEA and Lightspeed, have collectively invested $115 million in Fusion-io over four rounds, according to Thomson Reuters, publisher of peHUB.)

The company, which employs Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as Chief Scientist, makes storage memory hardware and software that make data center servers more efficient by speeding up data processing through what it calls “decentralization.”

Fusion-io expects to use the proceeds from the offering, which was underwritten by Goldman, Sachs & Co, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse, for expansion of its sales team, increasing product offerings and possible acquisitions.

Fusion-io makes solid-state flash memory specifically for servers and also supplies its modules directly to end customer data centers.

Facebook, which last year opened its first data center in Prineville, Ore., and is constructing another one in Rutherford County, North Carolina, accounted for 10 percent of the company’s revenue in 2010.

Facebook’s contribution the company’s revenue grew to 52 percent in its latest quarter, but is expected to “decline significantly ” in the current quarter, the company said in its prospectus filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

(Reporting by Himank Sharma and Brenton Cordeiro in Bangalore; Editing by Gary Hill)

Additional reporting by Joanna Glasner, peHUB