NetSuite on Monday said the auction period for its first initial public offering has begun and that it expects the price will be finalized after the stock market's close on Dec. 19.
NetSuite, which sells a range of hosted business software, intends to sell 6.2 million shares of common stock. Last week, the company said it expected the price to end up between $13 to $16. That would raise a maximum of $99.2 million.
But the auction-style process means the stock's initial price could end up being higher. Scott Sweet, managing director of IPOBoutique.com, said he expects ample interest from investors in the IPO: "I like the deal. I do believe it will do well."
Sweet declined to make any concrete predictions, however. "I really can't legitimately go on the record with a number, other than clearly stating that interest will be very large," he said.
NetSuite, which targets small and medium-size businesses, is mimicking Google in conducting an online, auction-style IPO, instead of having underwriters set the price.
It has set up a Web site for the IPO at www.netsuiteipo.com. A NetSuite spokeswoman said the company would not comment Monday beyond the news release.
NetSuite had a net loss of $35.7 million in 2006 and in 2007 has so far lost $20.6 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30. Also, its accumulated deficit stood at $241.6 million as of Sept. 30, NetSuite said.
However, revenue has grown from $17.7 million in 2004 to $67.2 million in 2006. NetSuite took in $76.8 million for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30 and had 5,400 customers as of that date, according to the company.
NetSuite said it plans to use revenue generated by the IPO to pay off an $8 million balance on a line of credit with Tako Ventures, an entity controlled by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, and to possibly make acquisitions.
Ellison controls about 60 percent of NetSuite's outstanding stock, which works out to about 31.9 million shares. He intends to place those shares into a "lockbox" limited-liability company, a move that would "effectively eliminate" his voting control and thereby avoid potential conflicts of interest, NetSuite said last week.