Angie’s List: A Billion-Dollar IPO?

Nov 3, 2011, 11:19 am EST
Angie’s List: A Billion-Dollar IPO?

Angie’s List, a website that matches consumers with contractors and other service providers, is getting closer to becoming a public company.  Based on a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, the company said it plans to issue 8.8 million shares at $11-$13 each.  The offering is slated to trade on the Nasdaq with the symbol ANGI.

Angie’s List had originally announced its IPO plans in August.

Assuming the stock trades at $13, the company’s value would total $722 million.  However, if there is a first-day trading pop in the stock, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see it reach $1 billion. Read 

OpenTable: From Hot IPO to Disaster

Nov 2, 2011, 2:57 pm EST
OpenTable: From Hot IPO to Disaster

Back in the summer of 2009, OpenTable (Nasdaq:OPEN) was one of the first dot-com’s to hit the market after the
financial crisis.  It turned out to be a fantastic deal, as the shares spiked nearly 60%.  OpenTable’s online reservation system seemed to have endless growth potential.

Yet it can be extremely tough to keep the momentum going.  And that has certainly been the case this year. Since April, OpenTable’s shares have plunged to $38 from $118.

The problem?  Simply put, OpenTable hasn’t been able meet Wall Street’s overly optimistic expectations.  Even though the company posted a sizzling 40% surge in revenue for the latest quarter, it wasn’t enough – analysts wanted 46%. Read 

When an Acquisition Beats an IPO

Nov 2, 2011, 2:57 pm EST
When an Acquisition Beats an IPO

On Tuesday, I talked to James Slavet, one of the partners for the Internet consumer side of venture capital firm Greylock
Partners.  He certainly knows how to spot breakout companies, some of which have included Pandora (NYSE:P), Facebook, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) and Groupon.  But just as importantly, his team also has a good sense for the right exit.

While IPOs are great, Slavet said that an eventual acquisition is by far the more likely option.  For example, he has helped sell
Farecast to Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Kongregate to GameStop (NYSE:GME).

His latest deal came this week, facilitating the sale of Auditude to Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) (for an undisclosed price). Auditude is a top player in video ad management, with clients like News Corp.’s (NYSE:NWS) Fox, Major League Baseball and Comcast (Nasdaq:CMCSA).  “When we invested in the company in 2007,” said Slavet, “we saw a major shift to premium web video.” Read 

Solyndra: Where Did Your Tax Dollars Go?

Nov 2, 2011, 2:04 pm EST

I had dinner Tuesday night with a Silicon Valley CEO.  He mentioned that Solyndra, the bankrupt solar operator, was liquidating its assets via an auction.  “I want to get some cool chairs and a projector,” he told me.

Not long ago, Solyndra was a showcase for President Obama’s “green jobs” movement. Over the past few years, the company received $528 million in federal loan guarantees. Now, it’s just a sad, expensive joke.

On the other hand, if you want to get some good deals on so-called noncore assets, you can check out Heritage Global Partners, which is managing the auction (they also handled the one for Enron). Read 

Global Brass & Copper Buffing Up for an IPO

Nov 1, 2011, 1:26 pm EST
Global Brass & Copper Buffing Up for an IPO

When it comes to corporate turnarounds, John Walker is one of the best operators. Among his accomplishments: He was able to restructure Weirton Steel Corporation, as well as help Delphi Corporation get back to health.

His latest gig? CEO at Global Brass & Copper, a specialty manufacturer of foil, rods and fabricated components for markets like housing, autos and munitions. Since coming on board in 2007, it looks like this has been another success for Walker.

The most recent good news: Global Brass & Copper has filed for an IPO. The underwriters include Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). Read 

Facebook CEO Says Risks Drove Success

Nov 1, 2011, 10:54 am EST

Facebook has turned into a big threat for Internet operators like Google (Nasdaq:GOOG), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO), and the company’s co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, gave some insight as to how Facebook forged its success during a recent free-wheeling interview at the Y Combinator Startup School event.  

When he started the social network six years ago, Zuckerberg didn’t think Facebook would become a company.  Instead, he just thought it was just an awesome idea – as well as an obsession.  As is now fairly well known, he dropped out of Harvard and moved into a house in Palo Alto, Calif., which become the headquarters of Facebook.

Zuckerberg realized that the Internet was undergoing a big move to social features — people wanted an easy way to connect with their friends and share things.  He saw it as an inevitable trend. Read 

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