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iVillage nearly doubles IPO pricing

The online women's network increases its range to 22 to 24 per share from 12 to 14 per share under heavy demand, despite its recent legal woes.

Despite recent legal troubles, iVillage nearly doubled its pricing range today under heavy demand for its pending initial public offering.

In a highly aggressive move, iVillage, a women's network, increased its range to 22 to 24 per share, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

That would raise up to $87.6 million in capital for the company. Its initial pricing range was 12 to 14 per share, which only would have raised up to $51.1 million.

iVillage is expected to set its final price as early as tomorrow night and would start trading Thursday. The stock will trade under the ticker "IVIL."

The company's former chief financial officer, Joanne O'Rourke Hindman, made accusations about the company's accounting practices in an affidavit filed recently. Her allegations were part of a lawsuit in which a former employee, Todd Kenner, alleges he is owed stock options.

"It's a rare phenomenon," said Richard Peterson, an analyst with Securities Data, adding that the move reflects an extremely high demand for the issue.

In the past five years, only eight technology IPOs have amended their pricing range by a greater degree, Peterson said.

iVillage increased its range by 71.4 percent.

Verio last year amended the low end of its pricing range to 22 from 16 per share--a 37.5 percent increase. That marked the largest percentage increase for an Internet IPO last year.

Verio eventually set its offering price at 23 and gained 18 percent on the first day of trading. The stock closed yesterday at 49.3125.

The few companies that increased their pricing range beyond the level of iVillage gained an average of 32 percent on their first day of trading, Peterson said.