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Divine InterVentures disappoints in debut

Internet incubator Divine InterVentures Inc., (Nasdaq: DVIN) lost almost 1/4 to just above 8 3/4 Tuesday in its initial public offering.

It priced at the bottom of its expected range of $9 to $10 per share, which was lowered from $13-$15 per share.

Complicating matters, the stock was forced to trade under the temporary ticker "TEMPV" for the day after lead underwriter Robertson Stephens had to delay settlement of the offering.

The much-anticipated, but controversial, IPO has been put off in twice in two weeks. Like CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI), the company invests in, and nurtures, development stage B2B and infrastructure companies and cashes in when they go public. Divine's biggest challenge was taking itself public in a market where Internet incubator valuations have fallen off.

The company, founded 14 months ago by entrepreneur Andrew "Flip" Filipowski, has been in registration since December. Underwriters planned to take the company to market by late June, but delayed the pricing by a week to allow the investment bankers a chance to build more orders.

The Securities and Exchange Commission's concern that the company had engaged in pre-offering publicity also delayed the deal, the Wall Street Journal reported. Because the SEC requires that pre-IPO public disclosures needed to be incorporated in the deal's filings, underwriter Robertson Stephens had to reprint and recirculate the company's prospectus.

The IPO had been put back on the IPO calendar for pricing after the stock market closed Thursday, and was put off for three consecutive trading days.

As well as having bad timing and SEC difficulties, the company has also wrangled with its underwriters. Last month, Filipowski fired Credit Suisse First Boston as divine interVentures' lead underwriter when it advised the company to delay the IPO until this fall.

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