Online auction company SupplierMarket.com Inc. is planning an initial public offering to raise as much as $100 million for growth. The Burlington, Mass.-based company plans to capitalize on an estimated $2 trillion-a-year U.S. market for direct materials used in injection and blow molded plastic parts, corrugated packaging and rubber and glass products, according to a March 2 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The preliminary filing did not reveal the number of shares to be sold or the estimated price. A sale date for the common stock still must be determined after SEC review.
As with many trading sites, SupplierMarket is a relative newcomer. The company was formed in February 1999 by two Harvard Business School graduates.
The company provides an online marketplace to sell a variety of components and materials, from small goods such as bolts and nuts to completed plastic parts.
The company had registered about 2,500 buyers and 8,000 parts and material suppliers by February 2000, according to the filing.
The trade exchange, as with other Internet exchanges, is operating at a loss. The company recorded sales of $51,541 from its inception to the end of 1999 on a loss of $6.1 million. Much of that loss was attributed to start-up costs.
The firm joined other dot-com exchanges going public. Recently, several Web-based chemical traders, including CheMatch.com Inc., announced plans for IPOs. Another auction site, FreeMarkets Inc., also went public in December.
SupplierMarket hopes to save transaction costs for buyers and sellers working in a scattered marketplace, Brian Bethers, SupplierMarket chief executive officer, said in a news release. Company officials were unavailable for comment before deadline.
"It's an extremely large and fragmented market right now, with incredible inefficiencies for both the buyers and suppliers," Bethers said.
Investment bankers Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., Lehman Bros. Inc. and FleetBoston Robertson Stephens Inc. will market the shares. The stock will be sold on Nasdaq under the symbol SMKT.