Kaspersky Labs is one of a group of European IT security companies that has been talking about floating since at least 2007. But Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s founder and majority shareholder, has now announced the company is planning to stay private after all.
He is buying back the 20 per cent stake General Atlantic bought in the company a year ago, and preserving all the freedom and flexibility that unlisted status affords. Read more
Tech news from the web:
Barnes & Noble is to introduce the Nook Tablet, a lighter, faster, 7-inch color touchscreen e-reader, Engadget reports. The Nook Tablet is set to be released on November 16th for $249.
According to a study by Ernst & Young LLP, US venture capital investment in clean technology rose 73 percent from last year in the third quarter, Bloomberg reports. Read more
Tech news from around the web:
Google has announced its new solar energy fund for SolarCity, a residential solar power provider, ZDNet reports. Google’s $280 million dollar investment in the fund is the company’s largest in clean energy to date, the company said in a blog post. Read more
Vibrant Media, an in-text advertising company which has grown from a $500,000 investment in 2000 to $100m revenues last year, is hiring a new chief financial officer in preparation for a possible initial public offering, writes FT Media Editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.
Jeff Babka is coming in from Sophos, an Oxford-based IT security company that had begun work on an IPO filing before its $830m sale to Apax Partners. Read more
Little by little, European technology companies are trickling back onto the market. The latest planned addition is EPiserver, a Swedish company that makes software that helps companies build and run websites.
The company is planning a listing on the Stockholm stock exchange on June 30th, worth up to £28.8m ($43.2m) if all the shares are taken up. It could value the company at up to £62.9m. Not, then, exactly a technology titan. However, the listing is encouraging for several reasons. Read more
Silicon Valley’s commitment to shareholder democracy – or to public shareholder democracy as opposed to the influence wielded by venture capital firms – does not seem to be strong.
The news that Facebook has established a dual-class share structure, converting its existing shareholders to Class B stock carrying 10 times the voting rights of Class A shares, suggests that (despite its denials) Facebook is readying itself for an initial public offering.
It is also falling in line with Google, which created a dual-class share structure for its IPO in 2004, which also gave 10 times the voting power to some shareholders. Eric Schmidt, the company’s chief executive, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin, its co-founders, control the majority voting rights as a result. Read more
In yet another sign that the appetite for shares in fast-growing technology companies has returned, Ancestry.com, a genealogy website that lets users trace their family origins, filed for a $75m initial public offering on Monday.
In its filing with the SEC, the company revealed that it has almost 1m paying customers, and took in $107m over the last six months, with profits of $8m. The company plans to list on either Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange as ACOM. Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are the two lead underwriters.
Ancestry.com will be the latest tech company to go public after a nearly yearlong drought. Read more
OpenTable’s debut was always going to be the real test of Wall Street’s reawakening interest in tech IPOs. In the event, it’s gone off like a rocket.
Other newcomers – like SolarWinds yesterday – were looking to raise much larger amounts and had stronger track records. Would Wall Street really be interested in a $40m deal from an internet company with only $56m in revenues last year and no profits?
The answer is a resounding “yes”. The shares were priced at $20, compared to an indicated price range last week of $12-14 , and are trading above $27 on their first day today. (Update: by the end of Thursday the shares had soared to $33.55, a first-day pop of more than 70 per cent. That really is reminiscent of the Dotcom years.) Read more
Finally, some good news on the tech financing front.
April turned out to be the best month for tech IPOs in at least a year. OK, two is not a lot to shout about. But that was as many IPOs as the previous 11 months combined, and the stocks have traded up nicely (Chinese games company Changyou by 92 per cent, online education company Rosetta Stone by 66 per cent.)
That probably explains why we hear, through an unconfirmed source, that Jeff Jordan recently bought himself three new suits in preparation for an IPO roadshow. Read more