* Files for IPO worth up to $75 million
* Proceeds for debt, working capital, general purposes
* Expected to trade on Nasdaq under symbol “ZIP” (Adds details on financials and competition, analyst comment)
NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - Zipcar Inc ZIP.O, a car-sharing service popular among college students and city dwellers, filed for an initial public offering worth as much as $75 million.
The company, founded nearly a decade ago, is a leader in so-called car-sharing, a service that charges an annual membership and rents cars at an hourly or daily rate. The service is successful in markets in which car ownership is lower and parking is scarce and expensive, such as urban areas and colleges.
The market has been successful enough that larger car rental companies such as Hertz Global Holdings Inc HTZ.N, Enterprise Holdings Inc [EPRIH.UL] and U-Haul UHAL.O have started rival car-sharing services.
“The nationals are recognizing there is a market for renting a car for an hour or four hours or a day,” said IPO Boutique senior managing partner Scott Sweet. “They could easily undercut and replicate what Zipcar does.”
At the end of April, Zipcar bought out Streetcar Ltd to expand its business in Europe.
“Going international sounds good but they are not making money. They are obviously going to need additional capital,” Sweet added.
Zipcar has posted losses every year since it was founded and said in a regulatory filing that it also expects losses in 2010.
“They were able to carve out a nice little niche for themselves,” said Paul Bard, an analyst with Connecticut-based Renaissance Capital. “What it comes down to is whether they are able to generate earnings growth.”
Revenue rose 22.5 percent to $33.24 million in the three months that ended March 31. The company’s net loss widened from $2.97 million to $5.33 million.
If the three-month period included Streetcar’s results, Zipcar would have posted revenue of $39.6 million and a net loss of $6.13 million.
It had total assets of $184.76 million and total liabilities of $90.90 million on the same basis at the end of March.
The filing did not say how many shares the company planned to sell or give an expected price range, but Zipcar said it would use proceeds from the offering to repay debt, for working capital and for general corporate purposes.
Zipcar members number more than 400,000 in 13 major cities and more than 150 college campuses in the United States, Canada and Britain.
Goldman Sachs & Co and JPMorgan are underwriting the offering. The shares are expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol “ZIP.” (Reporting by Clare Baldwin, editing by Maureen Bavdek and Derek Caney)
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