Netsuite files for US$75m IPO

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Netsuite files for US$75m IPO
Netsuite, a provider of hosted enterprise applications, has filed for a US$75m initial public offering at the Nasdaq exchange.

Founded in 1998 as Netledger, Netsuite offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) over the internet to companies in the small and medium business segments. The firm adopted the Netsuite name in September 2003.

The firm has 5,300 active customers and 495 employees. Last year it posted revenues of US$67.2m and reported a US$23.4m loss.

The firm plans to use the proceeds to pay for future acquisitions, general expenses and to pay off a US$7.5m loan from an investment firm controlled by Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison.

Ellison and his family own 74.1 per cent of the current outstanding stock and the database executive is expected to retain a controlling interest in the company after the IPO.

Netsuite and Oracle have had close business relations. Netsuite was initially positioned as the online provider of Oracle software to small businesses as the firm licensed Oracle's brand for a product dubbed 'Oracle Small Business Suite'. The service was rebranded Netsuite Small Business in July 2004.

Following Oracle's 2005 acquisition of PeopleSoft, Netsuite temporarily leased some of Oracle's excess office real estate and eventually signed a lease with the property's owner. The company relies on an Oracle database. It also has a US$542,000 sponsor contract with Ellison's sailboat-racing team Oracle Racing.

Ellison's controlling interest exempts Netsuite from certain governance requirements imposed by the Nasdaq, such as the right to block a potential acquisition of the firm and control over the board of directors. But in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company indicated that it plans to waive those rights.

Although Netsuite was founded one year before Marc Benioff started his Salesforce.com, it has always stood in the shadow of the company that became known as the poster child of the hosted software movement. At annual sales of US$497.1m, Salesforce is more than 7 times the size of Netsuite.
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