January 17, 2013 / 6:46 PM / in 5 years

Online company SurveyMonkey wins $800 million recapitalization

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Online survey company SurveyMonkey has started an $800 million recapitalization that will allow it to cash out early shareholders and investors, the company said on Thursday.

The financing underscores an increasing tendency in Silicon Valley to delay initial public offerings long beyond the time a company reaches revenue and profitabilty benchmarks that would have made it an IPO shoo-in in years past.

“We’re not saying we’re never going public,” said chief executive Dave Goldberg. “This was a better path for us, and it would save us some of the hassles of running a public company.”

SurveyMonkey’s financing, first reported by the AllThingsD web site, comprises a $444 million equity component plus a $350 million debt financing.

The equity tranche is led by Tiger Global Management, whose partner Lee Fixel will join SurveyMonkey’s board of directors. Google is also participating, with its executive David Lawee joining the board as an observer.

The company also expects to raise $350 milllion in debt financing, Goldberg said. SurveyMonkey had revenue of $113 million and earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization of $61 million in 2012, he added.

SurveyMonkey was started in 1999. Goldberg, a former executive at the music division of Yahoo became chief executive 10 years later.

Social network Facebook delayed going public long beyond the point when many analysts thought it should tap public markets and may have contributed to its troubled IPO. Widely used microblogging service Twitter is considered by many analysts to merit an IPO, but with no announced plans for one.

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