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Healtheon sets IPO price range

The provider of health care and benefits management services online plans to raise up to $52.2 million in its proposed offering.

Healtheon, a provider of health care and benefits management services online, plans to raise up to $52.2 million in its proposed initial public offering, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Cofounded by Netscape chairman Jim Clark, Healtheon set an initial pricing range of between $6 and $8 a share for the 6.5 million shares it plans to issue.

According to the filing, Clark and other investors plan to buy 3.2 million of those shares directly from the company once it prices.

Healtheon is pressing on with its offering despite recent market volatility and postponement of IPO plans by a number of companies. The company may be taking heart in the stellar IPO performance last week by online auctioneer eBay, which soared by 163 percent on its first day of trading.

Healtheon chief executive Mike Long, Clark, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers hold sizable ownership in the company. The underwriters listed are Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Goldman Sachs, Hambrecht & Quist, and Volpe Brown Whelan.

The company lost $21.4 million for the six months ended June 30, up from a loss of $13.3 million for the like period a year earlier. Revenue for the latest six-month period was $20.7 million, up from $4.3 million a year ago. As of June 30, the company had $12.8 million in cash and short-term investments. The company began operations in January 1996.

"The company intends to continue investing heavily in acquisitions, infrastructure development, application development, and sales and marketing," Healtheon said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "As a result, the company expects to incur substantial operating losses at least through 1999."

In explaining the rationale for the filing, Healtheon said: "The principal purposes of this offering are to obtain additional capital, to create a public market for the company's common stock, to enhance the ability of the company to acquire other businesses, products or technologies, and to facilitate future access by the company to public equity markets."

Before the proposed IPO, United Health Care Corporation owned a 17 percent stake in Healtheon (8.7 million shares); Clark owned a 16.4 percent stake (8.5 million shares); Kleiner Perkins a 13.8 percent stake (7.3 million shares); and Long a 4.3 percent (1.7 million shares).