Pandora Seeks to Raise $123.2 Million in IPO of Web-Based Music Provider

Pandora Media Inc., the Internet- music company that’s lost $92.1 million since it started in 2000, is seeking to raise as much as $123.2 million in a U.S. initial public offering.

The Oakland, California-based company will offer 13.7 million shares for $7 to $9 each, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Proceeds will be used to distribute unpaid dividends and for general corporate purposes.

Pandora is pressing ahead with plans to tap the public market after professional-networking site LinkedIn Corp.’s shares more than doubled in value on their first day of trading and Yandex NV raised $1.43 billion in the world’s biggest technology IPO of the year last month. Groupon Inc., the top online-coupon provider, filed today to raise $750 million in an IPO after booking a 14-fold increase in sales and a $113.9 million net loss in the first quarter.

The $8 midpoint of Pandora’s offering range would value the company at $1.27 billion, or about 9.2 times sales. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are leading the offering. The shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol P.

Sales more than doubled in the three months through April 30 and registered users topped 90 million, the company said in its filing. Pandora, which made about 87 percent of its revenue last year from advertising, has booked net losses every year since at least 2007 even as revenue increased 33-fold.

Royalty Costs

Advertising and subscription sales haven’t kept up with the content royalty costs that increase with usage, and that imbalance may affect future profitability, according to the prospectus.

Pandora’s net loss in the last quarter widened to $6.8 million from $3 million a year earlier, as spending on marketing and acquiring the rights to songs increased.

Founded in 2000 by Tim Westergren under the name Savage Beast, Pandora sells advertisements that target users based on age, gender, home postal code and musical taste. Ads support the free radio service, though the company also sells subscriptions to users who prefer to listen without advertising.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lee Spears in New York at lspears3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net.

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