Blog Post

ESPN-Backed Active Network Files To Raise Up To $150 Million In IPO

Here’s one company that was overlooked on many IPO forecast lists: Active Network, the ESPN-backed online provider of event registration services, has filed to raise up to $150 million by selling its stock to the public, according to an SEC filing. It’s the latest online company in recent weeks to file for an IPO; others include LinkedIn and Pandora.

Active Network provides online registration services for businesses, sporting groups, and community organizations who want to put together events. It then promotes the events on its network of sites, including its flagship, which features a huge directory of sporting events that visitors can sign up for. The company also owns several specialized online sports communities, including Cool Running and Lax Power. Read on for highlights from the filing.

Financial performance: The company, which primarily makes money by charging users who sign up for events, says revenue increased 16 percent to $218 million during the first nine months of 2010. Active Network posted a net loss of $18.2 million, down slightly from $23.8 million the year prior.

Use of funds: Active Network says it will use the cash it raises in its initial public offering in part to repay $43.3 million in outstanding debt. The company says other proceeds will go towards “funding potential acquisitions and for general corporate purposes, including financing our growth, developing additional application services functionality and features, acquiring new customers and funding capital expenditures.”

Ownership: Active Network had raised more than $275 million, including, most recently, $80 million in a round led by ESPN.

The filing lists ESPN (NYSE: DIS) as the company’s primary shareholder, controlling 22.4 percent of its stock. Other major shareholders include Canaan Partners (16.1 percent), IAC (NSDQ: IACI) (10.7 percent) and ABS Ventures (9.6 percent). Active Network purchased campground registration ReserveAmerica from IAC in Jun 2009 in exchange for stock.

Stock: Underwriters include Bank of America, Citigroup, Allen & Co. and Stifel Nicolaus Weisel. The company hopes to list its stock on either the Naasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.