Tech IPOs poised to make a comeback in New York
NEW YORK — Dice Holdings Inc., which operates career– and job–oriented websites, including Dice.com and JobsintheMoney .com, plans to raise $100 million through an initial public offering.
The six–year–old Manhattan company, which filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 4, has been owned by private–equity firms General Atlantic LLC of Greenwich, Conn., and Quadrangle Group LLC of New York since 2005.
Though few technology firms in the New York area have had IPOs over the past two years, analysts say that more may be in the works. "There have been increased discussions among private, venture–backed New York–area companies about going public," said David Silverman, managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a New York venture capital practice.
The last area tech company to go public was DealerTrack Holdings Inc. in Lake Success, N.Y. The software provider for auto retailers raised $170 million in December 2005. Another New York firm, software document exchange provider IntraLinks Inc., had registered in June 2005 to raise $64 million but withdrew the filing a few months later, citing "unfavorable market conditions." IntraLinks also had registered for an IPO in 2000, and some observers believe that it’s a good candidate to file again later this year.
"If you look at The Nasdaq [Stock Market Inc.], it has been the best quarter ever for IPOs," said Michael Maxworthy, a partner at investment bank Marlin & Associates New York LLC. "Market conditions have changed."
New York–based health–care–software provider Medidata Solutions Worldwide recently hired an investment bank to explore a potential IPO. Dice is hoping to cash in on the popularity of career–oriented content. Nationwide, spending on employment advertising of all kinds ? including on websites such as those Dice runs ? totaled $8.6 billion in 2006, according to International Data Corp., a Framingham, Mass., research firm.
"Dice sees an opportunity to become a dominant player in niche recruiting," said Colby Atwood, president of Borrell Associates Inc., a Portsmouth, Va., research and consulting firm. "It wants to expand, and going public will enable it to do that quickly."
The company operates five sites: ClearanceJobs, for professionals with active government security clearances; CybermediaDice, for technology professionals in India; Dice, for tech workers and engineers; eFinancialCareers, for people in financial services; and JobsintheMoney, for accountants, retail bankers and wealth managers.
It competes against newspapers’ classified ads, as well as such well–known sites as Monster, CareerBuilder and Yahoo HotJobs, and hundreds of niche sites. In 2006, Dice more than doubled year–over–year revenue ? generated from ads and fees paid by employers that post openings ? to $87.1 million.
Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Inc. and Jefferies & Co. Inc., all of New York, will underwrite the IPO, according to the filing. Dice did not specify the number of shares or a price range. It plans to seek to list on the New York Stock Exchange.