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Tech Industry

Street bids up uBid; Vignette files for IPO

The hot IPO market is attracting more would-be public firms, with uBid raising $23.7 million in its initial stock sale and Vignette refiling the IPO that it pulled just six weeks ago.

Shares of online auctioneer Ubid burst the seams today, soaring as high as 60.50 from their opening price of 40, before closing at 48 on their first day of trading.

The hot IPO market also lured Vignette into refiling yesterday the IPO that it pulled just six weeks ago.

Ubid's meteoric rise comes on the heels of yesterday's successful Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch IPO. Shares of Ticketmaster nearly tripled on their first day of trading.

Ubid put 1.6 million shares on the market with a $15 offering price, raising $23.7 million for the company.

Although there are many auction sites today, analysts said that the playing field is not overcrowded because of the difference in what the sites sell. Shares of eBay tripled out of the starting gate on its first day of public trading in September.

"Ubid is very different from eBay," said Linda Killian, portfolio manager at Renaissance Capital IPO Fund's After Market fund. "Ebay is more of a flea market, selling collectibles, whereas Onsale and Ubid are very similar." Both sell computer equipment that is either dealer overstock, or refurbished models.

Killian added that Ubid takes a greater inventory risk by "buying the equipment and selling in their own boxes to try to establish a brand name."

UBid was spun off a little more than a year ago by Creative Computers, which sells computer hardware and software through catalogs. Creative Computers, which still owns 82 percent of UBid, said when it filed the Ubid IPO in July that it intends to separate the companies by passing its stake to Creative's stockholders as a dividend.

Publishing software firm Vignette, which has added personalization and Web site management features, filed again for a $30 million initial stock offering that it pulled in October during a tough market for new issues.

Today's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission did not specify the number of shares or price. Some current shareholders will sell shares too.

Vignette also said it has raised $8.5 million in equity in a private equity financing and obtained a $5 million credit line from Comdisco.

CNET: The Computer Network is an investor in Vignette.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.