HORSHAM, Penn. – VerticalNet Inc., an owner and operator of 33 industry-specific, business-to-business Web sites, went public February 10, offering 3.5 million shares at $16 each. The company’s stock priced above its $12 to $14 filing range.
The initial public offering, underwritten by Lehman Brothers, Hambrecht & Quist, Volpe Brown Whelan & Co. and Wit Capital Corp., left 16.19 million shares outstanding.
Venture backers include Internet Capital Group, Koch Ventures and Wheatly Partners. There were no selling shareholders.
VerticalNet’s Web sites are comprehensive sources of information, interaction and e-commerce, specifically tailored for particular industries. These “vertical trade communities” combine product information, requests for proposals, discussion forums, e-commerce opportunities, industry news, directories, classifieds, job listings and online professional education sources.
The $50.8 million raised by the IPO will be used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.
The company, founded in July 1995, has never been profitable, losing $8.33 million in the first nine months of 1998 and $2.84 million in 1997.
Douglas Alexander, a managing director of Internet Capital Group, has served as a director of the company since 1996 and was named its chairman of the board in 1997. Walter Buckley III, president and chief executive of Internet Capital Group, and Matthew Warta, a director of Koch Ventures, joined the board in 1996 and 1998, respectively.
(in thousands, except per share data)
July 28, 1995 (inception)
Year Ended December 31, Nine Months Ended September 30,
to December 31, 1995 1996 1997 1997 1998
Revenue 16 285 792 551 1,862
Net loss -211 -709 4,779 -2,842 -8,334
Loss per share -0.19 -0.27 -1.89 -1.12 -3.27