JACKSON, Miss. – Tritel Inc., a wireless telephony company, went public December 14, offering 13.2 million shares at $18 apiece. The company’s stock priced in the middle of its $17 to $19 filing range.
Underwritten by Goldman, Sachs & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co., Bear, Sterns & Co. and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the initial public offering left 125.4 million shares outstanding.
There were no selling shareholders. Venture backers included AT&T Wireless Services Inc., Conseco Inc., Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Dresdner Kleinwort Benson Private Equity Partners LP and MF Financial.
The company has launched digital wireless service in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee and has plans to extend its services to five more states. Tritel has affiliations with AT&T Wireless and its regional partners Triton PCS Holdings Inc. and TeleCorp PCS Inc. The latter two and Tritel use the SunCom brand name and Tritel also markets its services under the AT&T name.
The $155.4 million in proceeds expected from the IPO will be used for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures and working capital.
Tritel has never been profitable, losing 3.2 million in 1997 and $10.7 million in 1998.
Ann Hall, a director at AT&T Wireless, joined the company’s board of directors in January 1999, together with Andrew Hubregsen, a senior vice president at Conseco and H. Lee Maschmann, a vice president at AT&T Wireless.
Tritel – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
Years Ended December 31 Nine Months Ended September 30
1997 1998 1998 1999
Total revenue 179
Net loss -3,154 -10,745 -6,288 -28,756
Net loss per share -2.32