Japan Server Maker Plathome Plans U.S. Listing for Funding

Plathome Co., an unprofitable Japanese maker of network servers, plans to raise about 10 billion yen ($102 million) by selling shares in the U.S. to finance product development.

The Tokyo-based company intends to sell American Depositary Receipts on the Nasdaq Stock Market or the New York Stock Exchange in the next two years, President Tomoyasu Suzuki said in an interview. Plathome shares jumped 18 percent today in Tokyo trading.

Plathome joins Japanese technology companies including Ubic Inc. and Opt Creation Inc. in pursuing a U.S. listing as they seek to expand the market for their products. The company, whose customers include Softbank Corp., needs money to develop a new version of servers that can power cloud-computing networks, Suzuki said this week.

“A presence in the U.S. is vital for this business to grow globally,” Suzuki said. “Several billions of yen is needed to develop cutting-edge technology in the area of computer hardware development.”

Suzuki added that Plathome hasn’t finalized any plans for a U.S. share sale.

Founded in 1993 and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Mothers Market for smaller companies in July 2000, Plathome hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s loss shrank to 290 million yen in the 12 months through March 31 from 444 million yen the previous year.

Plathome rose by the daily limit of 100 yen in Tokyo to 648 yen, giving it a market value of 881 million yen. That’s still down from a peak of 32,500 yen on Nov. 30, 2000.

The company has spent about 85 percent of the 8 billion yen it raised in its Tokyo initial public offering, Suzuki said. It had 1.43 billion yen of cash and near-cash items as of June 30, down from 2.07 billion yen two years earlier.

Suzuki said he’s considering opening offices in the U.S., Israel and the U.K. to bolster his company’s access to global customers.

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