CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Value America Inc., an online retailer of business and consumer technology products went public April 8, offering 5.5 million shares of common stock. The stock priced at $23, slightly above the company’s $20 to $22 filing range.
Underwriters include BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Volpe Brown Whelan & Co. and The Robinson-Humphrey Co.
Union Labor Life Insurance Co. (ULLICO), Pacific Capital Group, Vulcan Ventures Inc. and FDX Corp. were venture backers. There were no selling shareholders.
Value America, incorporated March 1996 in Nevada and reincorporated October 1997 in Virginia, maintains an online service that sells a variety of products including apparel, footwear, computers, electronics, home furnishings, jewelry, major appliances, software and toys. Brand name merchandise suppliers include Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Panasonic, KitchenAid, Hoover and Movado.
Coupons Inc., a Georgia-based direct mail service, filed a lawsuit in March against Value America alleging that the online retailer committed trademark infringement and other violations of federal, state and local laws by using the Value America name in its marketing plan.
The initial public offering leaves 43.4 million shares outstanding and is estimated to be worth $126 million. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.
Michael Steed, senior vice president of ULLICO, became a director in December 1997.
William Savoy, vice president of Vulcan Ventures, Inc., and Fredrick Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of FDX Corp., became directors upon completion of the offering.
Value America – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data )
Period from Inception (March 13,1996)
Year Ended December 31,
through December 31, 1996 1997 1998
Total revenue -97 134 41,544
Gross profit (loss) 0.02 -352 768
Net loss per share 0.09 2.8