Domain Name Marketplace NameMedia Files For $172 Million IPO

imageDomain name media firm NameMedia has filed to go public through a $172.5 million IPO on Nasdaq. The Waltham, MA-based company offers two main services, monetizing unused domains and facilitating domain name sales, each of which accounts for roughly half of the business. The lead underwriter is Credit Suisse, along with Jefferies & Co., Banc of America and RBC Capital Markets.The stock will trade under the ticker “NAME”. No other information about the number of shares or the expected price range has been disclosed. Some highlights:

— In 2006, the company had revenue of $61 million. The company has almost matched this through the first nine months of this year, with revenue of $58.2 million. Year-over-year, revenue is up 33 percent.

— Year-to-date op income of $11.1 million is 9.9 percent higher than last year’s $10.1 million, with growth having been hampered by higher marketing and product development costs.

— Online media currently accounts for 52 percent of the business, up from 49 percent last year. Going back to 2004, this line accounted for only 19.5 percent, as most of its money came from selling domain names.

— Total domain portfolio totals 2.25 million, 750,000 of which are owned directly by the company.

— The company has made a number of content and community-related acquisitions. In January of this year, it acquired Dave’s Garden (gardening) for $3.7 million and Visionary Networks (astrology) for $14 million. In April it acquired photography site for $6 million.

— Major backers include Highland Capital, which owns 50.5 percent of the company and Summit Partners, which owns 33.7 percent. CEO Kelly Conlin, former CEO of Primedia (NYSE: PRM) and IDG, owns 2.7 percent. Investments made by Highland and Summit were $25.8 million and $17.2 million respectively.


Rafat adds: Another competitor Demand Media has raised a total of $320 million in funding, and could be another one filing for an IPO by next year.