RealTime IT News

Prodigy Files With SEC For IPO

Prodigy Communications Corp. today announced that it filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of common stock.

The company said the offering size and the estimated price range have not yet been determined. The timing of the offering is subject to market conditions and other factors and is not expected to occur prior to November 1998. All of the shares proposed to be included in the offering will be sold by Prodigy. A spokeswoman for Prodigy declined to give further details about the offering.

White Plains, NY-based Prodigy, whose latest incarnation is as an Internet service provider (ISP), was a forerunner in the online content and community field in the 1980s and early '90s, under former owners IBM and Sears. Its biggest competitor at the time included CompuServe, long before America Online came on the scene.

In March of this year, Prodigy Internet introduced a new user interface custom-designed in partnership with Excite, Inc. The new user interface categorizes information into 13 channels and enables user customization. The ISP provides connectivity via its all-digital 56Kbps network.

Prodigy underwent a series of corporate restructurings, with several layoffs and management changes, including a run by former Viacom honcho Ed Bennett (now at MyCD.com) at the helm. IBM and Sears later sold Prodigy to a group of Prodigy executives and International Wireless in May 1996, with capital from Mexico's Grupo Carso. Current management includes Samer Salameh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Prodigy, Inc. and Russell I. Pillar, President and Chief Executive Officer, Prodigy Internet.

The offering is being lead-managed by Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc. and co-managed by ING Baring Furman Selz LLC and Volpe Brown Whelan & Company, with Wit Capital Corporation acting as e-Manager.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective.