Drugstore.com increases its IPO share price

The Web pharmacy is increasing the price of shares it expects to sell in an IPO tomorrow by 60 percent, the company states in an amended filing with the SEC.

BELLEVUE, Washington--Online pharmacy Drugstore.com increased the price of shares it expects to sell in an IPO tomorrow by 60 percent, the company said in an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Bellevue, Washington-based company now plans to sell 5 million shares at $15 to $17 each, up from $9 to $11 each. At the new range, the sale of the 12-percent stake would value the company at $678.7 million.

Raising the expected price of an initial stock sale indicates strong investor demand.

Peter Neupert, the company's chief executive, worked at Microsoft for more than a decade, including as vice president of news and publishing for interactive media.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon.com, the largest U.S. Internet retailer, is a member of the board. John Doerr and Brook Byers, both partners with venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, also are members of the board.

Melinda French Gates, a former Microsoft executive and the wife of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, is expected to be appointed to the board after the sale.

Drugstore.com, founded 15 months ago, has sold its products to about 168,000 customers, the company said.

The company's pharmacists can advise customers on drugs and fill prescriptions. Customers also can have products such as toothpaste, shampoo, and homeopathic remedies delivered to their houses.

Drugstore.com lost $30.4 million for the first six months this year, on sales of $4.2 million. The company had no revenue last year.

Drugstore.com will trade under the symbol "DSCM" on the Nasdaq. Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter is handling the sale, with assistance from Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities, and Thomas Weisel Partners.

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