E-tailer Overstock.com Files for IPO

Overstock.com, an online retailer that promises “name brands at clearance
prices” in a slew of categories, became the latest dot com to decide to test
the waters with an initial public offering.


The Salt Lake City, Utah-based company filed a registration statement with
the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $37 million. The
allocation of shares and the public offering price are primarily to be based
on an auction to be held by WR Hambrecht in which prospective purchasers are
required to bid for the shares.


In its filing, the company acknowledges that risks include “a limited
operating history, a history of significant losses and we expect to encounter
risks and uncertainties frequently faced by early stage companies in rapidly
evolving markets.”


Although the company’s revenues have grown steadily over the past three years
to about $40 million in 2001, the company has never made any money and in
fact last year lost $13.8 million.


The proposed Nasdaq symbol would be “OSTK.”


PayPal became the
first dot com to go public in a year
when trading began last month.


Overstock.com acquires excess inventory
through closeout purchases and bankruptcies and liquidates it through the
Internet.


Merchandise offerings include bed-and-bath goods, kitchenware, watches,
jewelry, electronics, sporting goods and designer accessories.


The company also operates OverstockB2B.com for small business
owners, allowing them to buy small volumes of name-brand inventory at
discounts to the wholesale prices that they normally pay.

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