Packaged Ice Inc. –

HOUSTON – Packaged Ice Inc., one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of packaged ice in the United States, held an initial public offering January 29. The company offered 10.75 million shares at $8.50 apiece, below its $11 to $13 filing range.

The IPO was underwritten by Merrill Lynch & Co., Jefferies & Co. Inc., Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. NationsBanc Montgomery Securities and Stephens Inc., and left 18.73 million shares outstanding.

There were no selling shareholders. Venture backers included Norwest Equity Partners, SV Capital Partners V, Ares Leveraged Investment Fund and The Food Fund.

Packaged Ice supplies ice to convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants and commercial and agricultural users. The company serves more than 70,000 customer locations in 26 states and the District of Columbia under the Reddy, Mission, Crystal Ice and Ice by Culligan names. The company also installs Ice Factory machines, which produce, package, store and sell ice at customer locations.

Packaged Ice plans to use the proceeds from the IPO for general corporate purposes and to repay debt. The company has compiled significant losses, including $11.6 million in the first nine months of 1998 and $8.4 million in 1997, largely due to its aggressive acquisition strategy.

Richard Coonrod, a general partner of The Food Fund, and Rod Sands, a managing director of SV Capital, are members of the company’s board of directors.

Compiled by Michael Gannon

Packeged Ice – Selected Financial

(in thousands, except per share data)

Year Ended December 31,Nine Months Ended Sept. 31,

1995 1996 1997 1997 1998

Revenue 2,830 4,427 28,981 20,963 137,650

Net loss -688 -990 -8,439 -1,982 -11,574

Net loss per share-0.26 -0.35 -2.40 -0.57 -3.21