MP3.com upgrades IPO details

French institutional buyer forces share price hike

Online music seller MP3.com has upgraded the price of its shares to be offered in its upcoming IPO, the company has told the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The shares will now be offered at $16-18 each, up 70 per cent on the $9-11 it originally filed. That values the company at a staggering $1.2 billion. MP3.com will also issue 12.3 million shares, up from the nine million it first said it would offer. However, all the extra shares -- 27 per cent of the total -- will go to French investment company Groupe Arnault. As part of the deal, Arnault will spend $150 million advertising on MP3.com's Web site. News of MP3.com's changes comes on the first day of trading after online music technology company Liquid Audio made its own IPO. It sold 23 per cent of the company's total stock for $15 a share. By the end of trading, shares were exchanging hands for $35.56. This despite the company's claim it will not see a profit before 2002. ®

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