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Voltaire ponders $100m IPO

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Israel-based switch maker Voltaire told US federal regulators today it plans to raise up to $100m in an initial public offering.

Out of the 7.7 million ordinary shares the company plans to sell, 5.8 million will be offered by Voltaire. The remaining 1.9 million shares will be sold by a group of shareholders. Voltaire has applied to trade under the ticker symbol "VOLT."

Voltaire told the Securities and Exchange Commission it came up with the $100m figure based on a midpoint estimated price range of $13 a share. Using the midpoint estimate, Voltaire expects to raise $67.5 from its portion of the IPO after expenses. The company will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares from selling stockholders.

The company expects to retain about 20.5m shares after the offering.

Voltaire plans to use the proceeds from the sale to repay in full a $5m loan, and the usual gamut of research and development funding, business and marketing activities and working capital. Voltaire also speculated it could use some of the money to acquire or invest in complimentary companies or technology, but the company doesn't have any acquisitions or investments planned.

For the three months ended March 31, Voltaire reported losses of $4.2m, compared to a loss of $3.7m during the same period last year. The company specializes in Infiniband switches for high performance grid computing. Voltaire lists that more than half of their customers have been government, research and educational organizations. The company's OEM customers are IBM, HP, Silicon Graphics, Sun and NEC Corporation.

Voltaire joins a flock of other tech vendors recently registering to sell stock in what appears to be the IPO season. ®

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