Flash memory firm Violin Memory prices its IPO

Above: Violin Memory

Image Credit: Violin Memory
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Violin Memory, a provider of flash memory-based storage for data centers, announced the pricing of its initial public offering this evening.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it will issue 18 million common shares at $9.00 per share. That is the midpoint of its estimated range of $8.00 to $10.00 per share. The company will start trading Sept. 27 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VMEM. Violin is expected to raise about $162 million at a valuation of around $736 million.

The IPO is one of 13 planned for this week in the U.S. one of three Silicon Valley IPOs.

Violin Memory has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2.7 million shares of common stock at the initial public offering price to cover over-allotments. The company will use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Interestingly, the company’s net loss was $109.1 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, up from $44.8 million a year earlier. Revenue grew to $73.8 million from the prior year’s $53.89 million, according to a regulatory filing.

The company’s products include flash memory arrays, PCIe cards, and Symphony software for data center storage. J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank Securities, and Bofa Merrill Lynch are lead joint book-running managers. Toshiba, which supplies flash chips for Violin, owns a 14.4 percent stake.

PrivCo, which analyzes private companies, said it is concerned at the rate at which Violin is burning through cash. PrivCo worries that Violin Memory has few customers, an inability to control costs, and it is late to the flash memory party. Despite those risks, PrivCo said Violin has a high valuation of ten times revenues.

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