E-Mail Ad Firm Yesmailcom Files for IPO

Yesmail.com Inc., an Internet marketing firm that delivers opt-in email ads, filed for an initial public offering that could raise as much as $46 million.

The company said it has built a readership base of more than 5 million people. It delivered 1.3 million ads in the first quarter this year, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Clients have included eToys Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant company, according to Bloomberg News.

Founded in 1995 as Superhighway Consulting Inc. and recently doing business as WebPromote, the company changed its name to yesmail.com in May. Permission email marketing has accounted for less than half of its revenue so far, according to the filing.

The company reported a 59 percent revenue increase in the first quarter, rising to $1.4 million from $873,000 in last year’s first quarter. Meanwhile, its net loss widened to about $1.2 million, or 6 cents a share, from $192,000, or 1 cent a share, in the first quarter of last year. The company said operating losses will continue “at least through the year 2000.”

Yesmail.com didn’t say exactly how many shares it plans to sell or what price it expects to seek for them in the IPO. The $46 million top value for the offering was estimated only as a basis for calculating the SEC filing fee.

The company didn’t say how much it expects to receive, after expenses, and listed no specific use for the money.

The company hired Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown to underwrite the stock sale, with Thomas Weisel Partners LLC and Volpe Brown Whelan & Co. Yesmail.com plans to have the shares listed for trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol YESM.

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