Burst Media Pulls IPO

Ad network and server Burst Media withdrew its IPO this week, joining the list of dot-coms avoiding the public markets.

In a letter to the SEC Monday, Burst Media chief executive G. Jarvis Coffin III said the offering was “no longer in the best interest of the company and its members … under the current volatile market conditions.”

In its May 23 filing, the company said it hoped to make $50 million from the sale. Burst, which would have traded publicly on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol “BRSM,” said it planned to use the proceeds from the sale for general corporate purposes, including sales and marketing, advertising, new offices, research and development and possible acquisitions.

Online ad and marketing companies have taken a pounding in the public markets since the April correction, with several industry leaders with propositions similar to Burst’s — namely DoubleClick and Engage — seeing their stock prices dwindling to nearly 85 to 95 percent off their 52-week highs, respectively.

Like those larger counterparts, Burlington, Mass.-based Burst operates a Web and email ad network, and handles repping, serving and technology licensing. But the company specializes in niche, original content sites like The Lipstick Page that might not have the pageviews of larger sites repped by the larger networks. At last count, Burst had more than 3,000 sites.

According to its prospectus, the company ended 1999 with about $2.3 million in cash and an annual net loss of about $232,000, on annual revenues of $8.7 million.

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