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Atheros files for an IPO
Private wireless chipmaker that competes with Intel plans to go public.
November 28, 2003: 10:45 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Atheros Communications, a privately held maker of wireless chips that competes with Intel, has filed to go public.

Atheros, which has been the subject of a fair amount of buzz in the tech world, is planning to raise as much as $100 million through an initial public offering. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company makes the Super G line of chipsets, which help enable devices to connect to the Internet wirelessly. Atheros said that it intends to use proceeds from its offering for capital expenditures and to pay off debt.

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The filing caps off a busy month for the IPO market, which has been picking up steam following a more than two-year drought.

Six companies went public in the past week, bringing the total number of offerings for the month to 15, according to IPOhome.com, the Web site of IPO research firm and money manager Renaissance Capital. In addition, online travel site Orbitz, which expects to go public by year's end, disclosed Tuesday that it hopes to raise more than $300 million in its offering.

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The Atheros IPO will likely be widely watched by the market since the company operates in one of the hotter areas of technology. Wireless fidelity, or wi-fi, has emerged as one of the hottest trends in tech this year. Intel's launch of the Centrino chipset in March has led to brisk sales of wireless laptops from the likes of Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM in recent months.

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Atheros, which also competes with chip companies Broadcom (BRCM: Research, Estimates), Agere Systems (AGR.A: Research, Estimates), and Conexant (CNXT: Research, Estimates), is rapidly growing. The company reported sales of $49.7 million in the first nine months of 2003, up 200 percent from the first three quarters of 2002. The company is not profitable but losses have narrowed. Atheros reported a net loss of $12.9 million in the first nine months of 2003, down from a $16.2 million loss in the same period a year ago.

The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "ATHR." Morgan Stanley is the lead underwriter for the deal and Lehman Brothers, Banc of America Securities and Thomas Weisel Partners are co-managers.  Top of page




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