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Angie's List prices IPO at $13 a share

Wed, 11/16/2011 - 6:05pm
The Associated Press

Consumer review website Angie's List Inc. said Wednesday that it had priced its initial public offering of 8.8 million shares at $13 a share, at the top of the range it had set for the stock sale.

The company sold 6.3 million shares while stockholders offered 2.5 million shares. Underwriters also have an option to buy an additional 1.3 million to cover overallotments.

Hoping to cash in on investor demand for Internet businesses, the company had earlier estimated the IPO would be priced between $11 and $13 a share. The shares are expected to begin trading Thursday on the Nasdaq under the symbol "ANGI."

Angie's List's debut follows much larger, successful IPOs by the online deals site Groupon Inc. and the professional network LinkedIn Corp. It precedes the much-anticipated public debut of online game company Zynga Inc., expected before the end of the year.

Founded by Angie Hicks, the company runs reviews of dentists, doctors, veterinarians, gardeners, plumbers and other businesses offering a range of local services.

Unlike review sites such as Yelp.com, Angie's List charges consumer-users a monthly fee, betting that people will want to pay for the assurance that the reviews are trustworthy. The company bans anonymous reviews and doesn't let businesses pay for good ratings. It says it has more than 1 million paid memberships.

How much a user pays depends on what types of ratings she or he wants to see and for how long. The site started with a focus on home improvement services but has taken on a slew of businesses.

There are ratings for home, pet and car services, for example, and for wellness businesses, including medical and dental practices. A combined wellness and service bundle costs $5.20 a month. But it goes down to $2.67 per month if you sign up for four years for $128.

The Indianapolis-based company had revenue of $59 million in 2010 and $62.6 million in the first nine months of this year. It says it lost $27.2 million for 2010 and $43.2 million for the first nine months of 2011, largely because it is spending a lot on marketing to attract new users.

Angie's List plans to use the proceeds from the offering, which it announced in August, for advertising and general corporate purposes. Angie's List said it plans to continue aggressively investing in advertising, particularly in New York and Los Angeles. It has also said it is expanding into new categories.

The underwriters include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Allen & Co., Stifel Nicolaus Weisel, RBC Capital Markets and others.

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