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CMP files for IPO

Media company CMP, which publishes magazines such as Windows and HomePC, registers for an initial public offering.

Tech Industry

Computer media giant CMP Media, which carries such magazines as Windows, Computer Reseller News, and HomePC, today filed an initial public offering registration to raise up to $115 million in capital.

CMP plans to use the proceeds to repay its revolving credit balance. This credit line has been used to cover working capital requirements and pay dividends to CMP's current stockholders, according to the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

After paying off its balance, the remainder of the IPO funds will be used toward working capital.

CMP saw its growth in revenues drop tremendously in 1996 compared with previous years. The media company reported revenues of $418 million in 1996, up 9.3 percent from the previous year.

But between 1992 to 1995, the company's revenue growth ranged from 18.6 percent to as high as 22.3 percent.

The company did, however, post a sizable jump in net profits, to $16 million in 1996, up from $9.5 million in 1995. But in 1994, the company reported profits of $16.3 million.

The company receives about 72 percent of its revenues from advertising and holds a marketshare of more than 20 percent in the technology publishing arena, CMP said in its filing.

Barbara Kerbel, a company spokeswoman, declined to comment on the filing, noting that the company is in a quiet period.

The underwriters for the offering are Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Lazard Freres, and Furman Selz.

Wired Ventures, another publisher of computer-related publications and content, dropped its IPO plans last October due to a lack of market interest. But Wired in January was able to raise $21.5 million in a round of venture capital financing.

And media IPOs, in general, have been weak.

Nine media IPOs have hit the market since January 1996 and none of the companies hit the high-side of their pricing range, said Richard Peterson, an analyst with Securities Data. But seven of those IPOs were priced at or below their initial range, he added.

"These companies also have had IPO prices that have been a shade under $10 a share for the higher priced ones," Peterson said. "Six of the last nine media companies have come in under $8 a share."

But there have been some past successes.

Mecklermedia launched an IPO in February of 1994 and has seen its share price rise over 500 percent since then, Peterson said. But other companies, like K-III Communications, which runs New York magazine, has seen its share price climb only 8 percent from its IPO price in November 1995.

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