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Compaq CEO sets time for Alta Vista IPO

Search engine company has "six months" to prepare, says Pfeiffer

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Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer has given the company's Alta Vista subsidiary a six-month deadline to ready the Internet search engine for its IPO. Speaking to the French newspaper La Tribune, Pfieffer reiterated the grand strategy for Alta Vista he outlined in the UK earlier this week (see Pfeiffer to re-engineer Compaq as Internet company). However, while he previously gave no indication when the IPO would take place, this time Pfeiffer said the work preparing Alta Vista for its share issue would be complete in around six months' time. "All of this work, meant to make the site more attractive, should take less than six months," he said. That would suggest an autumn filing for the search company's IPO prospectus -- called an S-1 filing. The timing would be propitious: that timeframe would see the IPO taking place around the time of the first anniversary of Compaq's decision to buy Alta Vista (see Compaq wakes up to portal potential). Compaq's gameplan for Alta Vista emerged earlier this year when the company bought Shopping.com for $220 million, and was first reported by The Register (see Alta Vista set to go it alone). ®

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