How Many Search Agencies Will Go Through An IPO In 2013?

Christopher-Lien-A2The process of taking a company through an initial public offering seems daunting. Companies must follow strict regulatory reporting guidelines, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, making them more accountable for business practices.

Marketers supporting the online ad industry, including search, will see an increasing number of IPOs this year -- starting with Marin Software, which revealed Wednesday that it had filed an S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This is a signal that management plans to take the company through an IPO, which MediaPost reported in December.

The number of shares the company will sell and the price have not been determined, but the common stock will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "MRIN."



Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank will act as lead book-running managers, with UBS Securities and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company acting as book-running managers, and Wells Fargo Securities acting as a co-manager, reports Forbes.

Marin CEO Chris Lien said during an interview in December that the company will focus on revenue acquisition management (RAM), the next generation of digital advertising management supporting cloud technology and big data to help marketers gain better return on investments.   

Audiences have shifted, making support of audience more complex as more devices and consumer behavior are coming online. Mobile is quickly becoming 25% of all clicks for marketers, Lien said.

The technology industry has seen the reversal of fortunes too. Michael Dell, for example, took Dell private with help from Microsoft and others.

How many search agencies will go public this year? It's difficult to tell. Industry executives who have been through a few said they need to generate lots of positive revenue and follow strict financial reporting guidelines. After taking at least one company public, Magnetic CEO James Green provides three reasons to remain private. He points to "cost, nimbleness, and stealth."

1 comment about "How Many Search Agencies Will Go Through An IPO In 2013?".
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  1. Kevin Lee from Didit, February 14, 2013 at 5:44 p.m.

    One more reason to stay private is that the public float of shares as a percentage of total shares remains low, so unless there is a large appetite for shares for months and years after the IPO the founders and employees with options and equity may find it difficult to convert their holdings into cash, particularly without attracting undue attention as insiders selling.

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