"Fickle stock market" delays Lindows IPO

CIOL Bureau
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SAN FRANCISCO: Lindows Inc., a maker of a Linux-based open-source operating system, said it will delay its initial public offering due to unstable market conditions.

The move comes on the same day that top Web search company, Google Inc., slashed the size of its IPO nearly in half to less than $2 billion, splashing cold water on what has been touted as the hottest Internet IPO in years.

Michael Robertson, Lindows chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that the San Diego company "won't be forced into a cut-rate IPO by a fickle stock market."

Lindows said its IPO registration statement remains on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and has not been withdrawn.

Lindows said it would continue to monitor market conditions and "may proceed with a public offering at a later date."

An IPO from the company was expected to raise around $40 million, below previous terms of $48.4 million. Lindows has been seeking a Nasdaq listing under the symbol "LINE".

Earlier this month, the company cut the price of its planned initial public offering of 4.4 million shares to $7 to $9 each from a previous range of $9 to $11.

Roth Capital Partners, JMP Securities, Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. and Kaufman Bros., LP, have been the underwriters.

In July, Lindows settled a trademark infringement case with Microsoft Corp., maker of Windows software.

As part of the terms of the agreement, Lindows said it will stop using the name Lindows and adopt a previously announced name, Linspire, the name of its Linux-based operating system designed for desktop and laptop computers in homes, schools and businesses.

Linux, an alternative to the Unix operating system, is so-called "open source" software that requires anyone using it to share improvements they make in it with other developers. This process helps ensure that products from various vendors will work together more easily.

At the time of the agreement, Robertson said the company will "transition to Linspire globally as our company name and primary identifier for our operating system product."

Microsoft, which said "Lindows" sounded too similar to its flagship product "Windows," filed suit against the company in late 2001.

After an initial delay, securities regulators are expected to declare Google's registration statement effective after 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), sources familiar with the matter said, paving the way for the world's most popular Web search engine to price its shares and sell them to the public.