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Airspan soars in debut
July 20, 2000: 4:29 p.m. ET

British wireless firm rises 113% in debut; medical firm Vascular prices shares
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Airspan Networks soared on its initial public offering Thursday, as the British wireless company held on to a rise of more than 110 percent.

Shares of Airspan rose 16-15/16, or 113 percent, to 31-15/16 on Nasdaq, continuing the trend of a strong week for the new-issues market. The stock had been as high as 49-1/32, but retreated steadily through the late morning and afternoon.

The company makes systems for wireless communication that enable the cost-effective transfer of high speed and voice services.

graphic"This was one of the picks of the week and it certainly lived up to expectations," said John Fitzgibbon, analyst with "It's wireless, and that industry has been really rolling along. And it has an alliance with Motorola, which helps."

Motorola (MOT: Research, Estimates) entered into an agreement with Airspan in February to incorporate Airspan products and sell them for two years.

Airspan (AIRN: Research, Estimates) priced confidently Wednesday night after boosting its price range, raising $82.5 million. The company priced 5.5 million shares at $15 after pumping up its expected range to $12 to $14 from $9 to $11.

Led by Credit Suisse First Boston, the company has had a smooth ride going public, avoiding any delays and correctly gauging strong interest in its shares the day before its debut.

Airspan lists Lucent Technologies as one of its top direct competitors, as well as small startup companies.

Vascular Solutions Inc. also got a solid boost, rising 4-3/16, or 35 percent, to 16-3/16 on its first day.

Vascular (VASC: Research, Estimates), which makes a seal used by cardiologists and radiologists, raised $42 million Wednesday evening, pricing 3.5 million shares in the middle of its range at $12.

The Minneapolis-based company's lead underwriter is Salomon Smith Barney. Back to top


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