Trulia Inc. (TRLA), an operator of a residential real estate listings website, plans to raise as much as $96 million in an initial public offering, aiming to capitalize on an improving U.S. housing market.
The company and its existing shareholders are offering 6 million shares at $14 to $16 each, according to regulatory filing today. Trulia’s shareholders include Accel Partners, Fayez Sarofim & Co. and Sequoia Capital, the filing shows.
Home sales have climbed in the U.S. as mortgage rates close to record lows help bolster demand. Trulia, based in San Francisco, competes with Zillow Inc. (Z), which raised $80 million, including an overallotment option, in 2011. Zillow shares have more than doubled since their debut.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG are managing Trulia’s offering, with help from RBC Capital Markets LLC, Needham & Co. and William Blair & Co., according to the filing. The company may use the deal’s proceeds to acquire businesses and other assets and plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TRLA.
Based on the filing, the company and its shareholders are offering about 23 percent of the shares. At the top end of the price range, the IPO implies a valuation of $422 million, or about 8.2 times trailing 12-month sales through June 30. That compares with a price-to-sales ratio of about 13 times sales for Zillow.
Trulia’s search engine is used by more than 20 million people a month to look for homes, according to the filing. The company makes money through ads on the site and subscriptions.
Purchases of new homes climbed 3.6 percent in July to a 372,000 annual pace, matching a two-year high, figures from the Commerce Department showed Aug. 23. Sales of previously owned homes rose from an eight-month low in July, according to the National Association of Realtors.
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