January 9, 2015 / 11:45 AM / 6 years ago

Data storage company Box expected to be valued at up to $1.55 billion

(Reuters) - Online data storage provider Box Inc IPO-BOX.N expects its initial public offering to be priced at $11-$13 per share, valuing the company at up to $1.55 billion.

The offering is one of the most-awaited technology IPOs this year after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (BABA.N) blockbuster debut in September.

U.S. IPOs raised about $93 billion last year, the highest since 2000.

“For an issuer, the market is fully valued and probably overvalued, and investors appear to be overwhelmingly bullish,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of BMO Private Bank in Chicago.

Box expects to raise up to $162.5 million from the offering of 12.5 million class A common shares, according to a regulatory filing. (1.usa.gov/1xXTi1b)

The company, whose shareholders include venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, U.S. Venture Partners and Coatue Management, offers 10 gigabytes of free online storage and charges fees for additional space.

Box also offers data storage facilities to companies such as Ameriprise Financial Inc (AMP.N), Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) and Gap Inc (GPS.N).

Founded in 2005 by University of Southern California drop-out Aaron Levie and his friend Dylan Smith, Box competes mainly with privately-held Dropbox and it claims to have about 32 million users.

Box said holders of its class B common shares would have about 98.8 percent of voting power after the IPO.

Draper Fisher’s stake in the company is expected to fall to 19.2 percent after the offering from 23.1 percent.

Box’s revenue rose 80 percent to $153.8 million in the nine months ended Oct. 31, while net loss narrowed to $121.5 million from $125.2 million, a year earlier.

The Los Altos, California-based company has warned that it does not expect to be profitable in the foreseeable future.

Box, which rebuffed a takeover offer of over $500 million by Citrix Systems Inc (CTXS.O) in 2011, said it planned to use the proceeds of the offering for operating expenses.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Box received $150 million in funding in July from Coatue and private equity firm TPG. The deal valued Box at about $2.4 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

The company’s latest valuation implies that it wants to offer investors some discount going into the offering, said Josef Schuster, founder of IPO investment firm IPOX Schuster LLC.

Editing by Kirti Pandey

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