July 31, 2012 / 6:20 PM / 7 years ago

Exclusive: Extreme sports camera maker GoPro plans listing

(Reuters) - GoPro, which makes wearable cameras used by top surfers like Kelly Slater and Laird Hamilton and extreme sports enthusiasts, is planning a $300 million to $500 million initial public offering next year, four sources close to the matter said.

A GoPro camera is seen on a surfboard at Manhattan Beach, California May 14, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The San Mateo, California-based company has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Barclays Plc BARCR.UL to lead the planned offering, the sources said.

The amount GoPro plans to raise would be on the higher end for technology initial public offerings this year, topping software companies such as Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW.N) and ServiceNow Inc (NOW.N), which raised $260 million and $209 million, respectively, in recent IPOs.

Although the timing for GoPro’s IPO has yet to be determined, it could come as soon as the fourth quarter, two of the sources said. GoPro could not be reached for comment. The banks declined to comment.

All sources declined to be named because the talks are private.

GoPro, which is known for its waterproof and shockproof cameras, has gained popularity among extreme athletes, including motorcross professionals, skiers and race teams.

The company’s cameras, which sell for about $200 a piece, have been featured in U.S. TV shows such as Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Mythbusters and Deadliest Catch.

The company generated $250 million in revenue in 2011, according to market research firm IDC. It competes with companies like Seattle-based Contour and UK-based Drift.

CEO Nicholas Woodman founded the company in 2002 as a way to capture professional-style images of his surfing trips.

The company has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from venture firms including Steamboat Ventures, Riverwood Capital, Sageview Capital, Walden International, and U.S. Venture Partners.

Reporting By Nadia Damouni and Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr

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