In hot market for IPOs, Carbonite seeks $106m
Provider of data backups would join 4 others from Mass.
Carbonite Inc. of Boston, a leading provider of online data backup services, hopes to raise as much as $106 million in an initial public stock offering later this year.
In a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Carbonite said it plans to sell 6.25 million shares for $15 to $17 per share. Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch investment unit and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will act as the lead underwriters of the offering.
Carbonite first announced its plan to go public in May. The company, founded in 2005, lets consumers and small businesses back up their computer files by transmitting them over the Internet to a remote data center. Home computer users pay a flat fee of $59 per year for unlimited storage, although Carbonite downloads data from heavy users at a much slower rate, making the service less efficient for large data backups.
David Menlow, president of IPOfinancial.com in Millburn, N.J., an independent research firm for the IPO market, said that there has been a resurgence in the market for IPOs, with 91 initial offerings in the United States so far this year, compared with 77 during the same period last year.
Four of those offerings have been from Massachusetts companies. The biggest and most recent was from Dunkin’ Brands Group, the Canton-based parent company of the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant chain. Launched on Wednesday at $19 a share, the stock rose nearly 50 percent on its first day, and yesterday closed at $28.93. In Massachusetts, Zipcar Inc., STAG Industrial Properties, and BG Medicine Inc. have also gone public this year.
The national surge in the IPO market is being driven in part by a host of stock offerings from Internet companies. One of the year’s hottest IPOs featured the business-oriented social networking service LinkedIn Corp., which launched in May at $45 and more than doubled in value on its first day. LinkedIn closed yesterday at $101.03 per share.
Other tech offerings in the pipeline include the online shopping discount service Groupon, which filed for an IPO in June.
Carbonite says it has 1.1 million subscribers in 100 countries, and foresees booming demand for its backup service. “We believe that a decade from now, nearly every device that creates or stores data, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and digital cameras, will be backed up over the Internet,’’ the company said in its SEC filing.
But Carbonite faces competition from huge rivals, including EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, which operates the Mozy online backup service. Besides, Carbonite has yet to turn a profit. The company lost $25.8 million last year and $10 million in the first six months of 2011.
Menlow said Carbonite’s financial condition does not bode well for its IPO. “The company’s hemorrhaging money,’’ said Menlow, who warned that in light of continued losses, “investors are not going to be clamoring for this offering.’’
Hiawatha Bray can be reached at email@example.com.