IXL surges in market debut

Larry Dignan

IXL Enterprises Inc.'s (Nasdaq: IIXL) initial public offering opened Thursday at 15 1/8 and closed at 17 7/8, up 49 percent on the day. Shares priced at $12 a share, the top of its range.

IXL offered 6 million shares. Underwriters included Merrill Lynch & Co., Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, BancBoston Robertson Stephens, and SG Cowen.

The company, which provides Internet services and consulting, said net proceeds will be used for repayment of debt and general corporate purposes, including working capital and acquisitions.

IXL, which employs 1,475 workers, had pro forma 1998 revenue of $87 million and a loss of $71 million. For the quarter ending March 31, revenue was $33 million with a loss of $23.8 million. The company counts General Electric, Chase Manhattan, Merrill Lynch, Time Warner and Delta Airlines among its largest customers.