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Given IPO gains
October 4, 2001: 4:46 p.m. ET

Given Imaging offering snaps new issues drought, rises early on.
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Shares of Given Imaging Ltd. remained above water Thursday for the company's initial public offering, rising 4 percent.

Given (GIVN: Research, Estimates), which makes a camera that fits into a pill to help doctors diagnose internal ailments, is the first company to go public after the longest drought for new stock offerings since the mid-1970s.

The stock closed 47 cents higher at $12.47.

On Wednesday Given raised $60 million by selling 5 million shares, or almost a 20 percent stake, at $12 per share in an IPO led by underwriter Lehman Brothers.

"We're very pleased with the initial price and about the market acceptance," Given President and CEO Gavriel Meron told CNNfn's The Money Gang.

The underwriters completed Given Imaging's road show and put a final price tag on the deal a week later than they had planned due to the Sept. 11 attacks that disrupted the nation's financial activity and forced investment banks to put all deals on hold. Even before the attacks, the IPO market had been moribund. Deal volume in the third quarter fell 88 percent.

Meron said that while nobody could have anticipated the market disruption from the attacks, the company thought it was best to continue with the offering.

He said that even after the event, Given realized the original reasons for the IPO -- fundamentals and the product -- hadn't changed.

Given Imaging, a small technology start-up with no revenue or profits, attracted investors' interest since it first filed documents for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in early August, thanks to the potentially revolutionary technology it develops.

Given Imaging's only product is the pill-sized camera that is swallowed and snaps pictures as it travels through the digestive system. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration early in September.

"You actually don't feel a thing as this passes through," Meron said. "And we're dealing with an area of the (gastrointestinal) tract which has so far been a black box, the 22-foot long small intestine."

The company has lost money each year since its 1998 inception. As of June 30 it had accumulated losses of $19.5 million, and in its regulatory filing it warned that it may never achieve profitability.  graphic

-- from staff and wire reports


Given Imaging holds IPO - Oct. 3, 2001