Criteo Files for IPO as Web-Advertising Firm Seeks Growth

Criteo SA filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. as the French Web-advertising company seeks cash for product development and expansion.

The company plans to sell American depository shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market this year, Criteo said in a regulatory filing without giving an exact date. The proposed $190 million offering size is a placeholder amount used to calculate registration fees and may change. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Jefferies Group LLC will lead the sale.

The startup, founded in Paris in 2005, may seek a valuation of as much as $2 billion, a person with knowledge of the company’s plans said in April. The company plans to use the proceeds for research and development, sales and marketing, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes.

Revenue rose 89 percent last year to 271.9 million euros, or $353.7 million, the company said. Net income dropped to 981,000 euros from 6.1 million euros a year earlier after the company almost doubled operating expenses on higher sales, research and development and administrative costs.

Criteo, which raised 30 million euros in late 2012 and is backed by Index Ventures among other investors, operates in 37 countries and partners with about 4,000 clients, according to its website. With EBay Inc. and Expedia Inc. among its clients, Criteo has been profitable since 2009 and gets most of its revenue from the U.S. market.

The company tracks user activity on websites to help advertisers target potential customers. The company’s software is designed to spot hesitant shoppers online and send them tailored banner ads to lure them into buying.

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