SciQuest, a Cary company that helps universities, drug companies and other customers buy products and services online, filed plans this morning for an initial public offering of stock.
A successful IPO would mark an unusual milestone for the company that was founded in 1995. SciQuest first went public in 1999 during the height of the dot-com boom and its stock market value reached nearly $1 billion. But its shares tanked not long after its Wall Street debut when tech stocks slumped.
In 2004, with a new business model and a new management team led by CEO Stephen J. Wiehe, left, the company went private when it was bought by several investment firms, including Trinity Ventures of California and Intersouth Partners of Durham.
Now, with rapidly increasing revenue and profitability, Wiehe will try again to win favor among Wall Street investors.
Filing IPO plans puts SciQuest in rare company: Only one other Triangle company, Durham-based Aldagen, which is developing drugs from stem cells, has officially filed plans for a U.S. IPO. Raleigh-based Lulu.com, an online book publisher, this month filed plans for an IPO in Canada.
SciQuest reported in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that revenue rose 21.5 percent last year to $36.18 million. Its net income more than doubled to $2.63 million.
The company makes money on subscription fees it charges customers to use its e-procurement software and technology. Pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, colleges such as the University of North Carolina system and others use the system to reduce costs by finding the best prices from online vendors for office and lab supplies, technology equipment, temporary workers and more. The state of Georgia uses SciQuest to buy a variety of products and services, including body bags.
Previously, SciQuest sold medical and lab supplies directly on the Internet, but that business model proved to be unsustainable.
SciQuest reported that it plans to raise as much as $75 million in its IPO. It didn't disclose how many shares it hopes to sell or at what price, information that will have to be updated before a deal can move ahead.
This time, SciQuest wants to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "SQI." Last time, the stock traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market, which was home to many of the tech companies that debuted during the dot-com bubble.
IPO activity, which slowed dramatically in 2008 and much of 2009, revived last fall and analysts expect to see renewed interest this year as the broader stock market continues to climb. That could increase demand for SciQuest's IPO, assuming the broader market doesn't decline again.
Read SciQuest's full S-1 registration filing with the SEC online here.