Tech Industry

IPO Roundup: Lante takes off in debut

Internet services company Lante Corp. (Nasdaq: LNTE) closed up 34 15/16, or 175 percent, to 54 15/16 Friday after it priced 4 million shares at $20 a piece.

The Chicago-based company, which develops software for electronic markets where buyers and sellers come together, previously had planned to sell 3.1 million shares in a price range of $10-$12 per share.

After the offering, underwritten by Credit Suisse First Boston and co-managed by Deutsche Banc Alex Brown and Thomas Weisel, there will be about 38.5 million shares outstanding.

For the three months ended December 31, Lante had a net loss of $2.2 million on revenue of $11.6 million, compared to a net income of $504 000 on revenue of $4.2 million in the same period of 1998.

Since the company shifted its focus to the Internet in 1996, its client base has been concentrated among a few companies; ZixIt Corp and Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT) accounted for 37 percent and 16 percent of revenue, respectively, for the 9-month period ended September 30.

In December 1999, the company entered a strategic relationship with Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) whereby Dell purchased 2 million shares of its stock, and Dell will provide Lante with at least $40.0 million of total revenue over a five-year period.

The company faces competition from Internet service firms, including Scient Corporation (Nasdaq: SCNT), Viant Corp (Nasdaq: VIAN), Razorfish, (Nasdaq: RAZF), Proxicom (Nasdaq: PXCM)., Sapient Corp. (Nasdaq: SAPE) and USWeb (Nasdaq: USWB).

Lante is the second services-related IPO this week. Organic (Nasdaq: OGNC) made a strong debut on Thursday.

Among other IPOs Friday:

  • Via Net.Works (Nasdaq: VNWI) stormed up 28 13/16, or 137 percent, to 49 13/16 Friday after it priced its shares at $21, the top of its range.

    The offering of shares in the international provider of Internet-access services for businesses in Europe and Latin America, is led by underwriter Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and co-managed by Morgan Stanley and Salomon Smith Barney.

    The Reston, VA-based company's revenue for the nine months ended September 30 was $48.7 million; net loss was $43 million.

    Late Wednesday, the company increased its price range to $19 to $21, up from $15 to $17 per share, and upped the size of the offering to 15 million shares from 13.3 million.

  • Flag Telecom Holdings (Nasdaq: FTHL), a global carrier employed by international phone companies and Internet service providers, closed up 8 1/2, or 35 percent, to 32 1/2 Friday after pricing its shares at $24 each.

    Bangkok fixed-line telephone operator TelecomAsia Plc (TA) said Friday it would sell up to 3.5 million shares of Flag, and had already sold 2.97 million shares at $24 each. It also said its underwriter was entitled to purchase more but not exceeding 3.5 million shares from TA. TA now holds a total of 18.13 million Flag shares.

    Salomon Smith Barney and Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown are the lead underwriters for the offering. TelecomAsia indirectly holds a 10 percent stake in Flag via its unit K.I.N. (Thailand) Co. K.I.N. is 99.99 percent owned by Telecom Holdings, which is 99.99 percent owned by TelecomAsia.

    Investors in the company include Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL), General Electric (NYSE: GE) and AT&T (NYSE: T).

    The company had $30 million in revenue and $4.8 million in income in the first two months of last year.