IPO PRICING-barnesandnoble.com to raise $450 mln|
NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters) - Online retailer barnesandnoble.com <BNBN.O> priced 25 million shares at $18, the high-end of an increased range, for a total of $450 million.
The initial public offering, expected to come to market on Tuesday, has been widely anticipated as the blockbuster deal in a busy week of deals. According to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, German media giant Bertelsmann AG <BTGGg.F> and Barnes & Noble Inc <BKS.N>. will each retain a 41.1 percent stake in the company, which will compete against online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. and Books-A-Million.
The company's stock debut will be monitored closely. Analysts said it will be a good gauge of how healthy the IPO market is, especially following several deals' mediocre performance in the aftermarket.
"Investors are waiting to see what it is going to do," said Steve Tekirian. "If it does not have a big first-day pop, investors will get a bit worried." He noted that financial news Internet firm TheStreet.com <TSCM.O> , which was also widely anticipated, gained as much as $54 on its first day from its $19 offering price, but was now trading near $35.38. It went public earlier this month. More such aftermarket performances may confirm that enthusiasm for Internet IPOs is drying up.