Marimba ups IPO offering price

The Internet technology company raises the price of shares it plans to sell through an initial stock offering to $16 to $18 apiece.

WASHINGTON--Marimba, a supplier of technology that lets companies distribute and update software over the Internet, raised the price of shares it plans to sell through an initial stock offering.

Mountain View, California-based Marimba filed today to sell almost 3.55 million company shares for $16 to $18 apiece, up from $13 to $15 specified in a previous U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The sale could raise $55 million for Marimba after expenses, the filing said. Existing shareholders will sell another 452,000 shares.

Increasing the price of shares indicates strong demand by institutional investors, who purchase the bulk of stock issued through IPOs.

Marimba founders Kim Polese and Arthur van Hoff, both former executives of Sun Microsystems, each will offer 124,300 shares in the IPO. Those stakes would each be worth $2.1 million if shares sell for a median $17 apiece. Polese and van Hoff each would have a 10.4 percent Marimba stake after the IPO, the filing said.

Altogether, new investors will have a chance to buy 4 million Marimba shares, giving them control over 17.6 percent of the company.

Marimba, whose customers include Sun, Charles Schwab, and Bear Stearns, recorded a net loss of $5.7 million in 1998 on revenue of $17.1 million. Marimba's Castanet software lets companies distribute e-business software to business partners and customers over the Internet or a corporate intranet.

The stock sale would give Marimba an implied market value of $386.7 million, based on 22.7 million shares to be outstanding after the IPO at a median $17 apiece.

Marimba has received approval to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol "MRBA." Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is the lead underwriter.

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