SAN FRANCISCO – Quokka Sports Inc., a provider of digital sports entertainment programming, went public July 27, offering 5 million shares. The company’s stock priced at $12 per share, within its $12 to $13 filing range.
Merrill Lynch & Co., Lehman Brothers and BancBoston Robertson Stephens underwrote the initial public offering, which left 43.66 million shares outstanding.
There were no selling shareholders. Media Technology Ventures, Intel Corp., MediaOne Interactive Services Inc., Accel VI, Trinity Ventures, Wakefield Group II, Pogmohane Partners, Liberty QS Inc., MeriTech Capital Partners, Hearst Communications Inc., Pivotal Partners, Comcast Interactive Capital Group, Crossover Fund II, AtHome Corp. and British Telecom Holdings B.V. were venture backers.
Quokka allows viewers of a sporting event to collect and incorporate video, text, audio, images, an athlete’s vital signs, environmental data, e-mail and other information at the sports venue. The company’s programming can be accessed over the Internet, and in the future might be available on other interactive digital networks, such as cable and satellite systems.
The $54.5 million in proceeds will be used to meet capital contribution obligations to two joint ventures, NBC/Quokka Ventures and CART Digital Media Enterprises; to meet obligations under current programming and distribution agreements; to repay debt; and for general corporate purposes, including capital equipment purchases, leasehold improvements and an expanded marketing campaign.
The company has not been profitable in the past several years, losing $9.5 million in 1998 and $4.9 million in 1997.
James Shennan Jr., a general partner of Trinity Ventures, and Barry Weinman, a general partner of Media Technology Ventures, joined the company’s board of directors in December 1997.
Quokka Sports – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
Year Ended December 31, Three Months Ended March 31,
1994* 1995* 1996 1997 1998 1998* 1999*
Revenue 399 82 39 4,000 8,635 4,867 897
Net income (loss) 90 -6 -1,560 -4,942 -9,538 -390 -7,848
Net income (loss) per share 0.02 0.00 -0.41 -0.73 -0.99 -0.04 -0.80