July 31, 2001

MandrakeSoft releases IPO results, sets public trading date

Author: JT Smith

- By Dan Berkes -

Monday afternoon, MandrakeSoft released the results of its initial public offering. In an email message sent to subscribers of the Linux-Mandrake Community Newsletter, the Paris-based Linux company also confirmed that its stock will start public trading this Friday, Aug. 3.The company said it enjoyed a successful IPO, selling a total of 688,480 shares at 6.2 Euros (USD $5.42) each. Proceeds from the sale now represent 20.28 percent of the company's capital, or about 4.3 million Euros (USD $3.76 million).

MandrakeSoft will trade on the Marche Libre exchange under the Euroclear-Paris code 4477, the equivalent of a ticker symbol on the U.S. Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange markets. The Marche Libre (translated as "Free Functioning" or "Open Market," according to Babelfish) is a non-regulated market, one of several operated by Euronext Paris SA, and free from some of the requirements that apply to companies listed on regulated markets.

Non-regulation, at least within the context of Marche Libre, means that there's no minimum public holding requirement regarding the issuing company's securities, and that accounting requirements for reports are determined solely by the company. Certainly a buyer-beware market, this also means that Euronext may not have specific information about events that could affect the company's value or legal situation; investors are on their own when it comes to ferreting out such information. There's a PDF file available that explains in great detail how this market works.

Also different on this market is the way stock prices are set. Instead of constant price fluctuation during normal trading hours, share prices are determined once every 24 hours, with the daily price set at 3 p.m. local time. Furthermore, that price cannot change by more than 10 percent in either direction each day. MandrakeSoft strongly urges investors to provide a limit price when buying or selling shares. Investors who don't provide that limit price run the risk of buying at higher prices or selling at lower prices.

So, how do you go about getting in on the first day of public trading? In the message, the company says the easiest way to find out is to call up your usual broker and ask if they accept orders for Euronext -- be sure to give the Euroclear-Paris code of 4477. While not entirely clear in the message or at MandrakeSoft's IPO pages, there's a chance that your broker may trade on some Euronext markets but not all of them. Providing that code will help to get a yes or no answer quickly.

Anyone seeking more information on how to purchase shares of MandrakeSoft can consult the company's information page on the issue, and read or share tips on how to go about making purchases on MandrakeForum.

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