Archipelago Learning IPO Prices Within Range

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private equity backed Archipelago Learning Inc ARCL.O priced shares in its initial public offering for $16.50 apiece, within the expected range.

The Dallas-based provider of subscription-based online education for students between kindergarten and grade 12 sold 6.25 million shares, which it had estimated would price for between $15 and $17, and raised about $103.1 million, an underwriter said on Thursday.

Half of the shares in the IPO were offered by the company itself, and the other half by owners such as Providence Equity Partners.

The private equity firm sold 2.4 million of the shares in the offering and will still own 48.9 percent of Archipelago’s shares after the IPO is completed.

The net proceeds to the company, which the company had estimated would come to about $42.7 million based on a $16 midpoint price in the IPO, will be used for unspecified corporate purposes, according to a recent prospectus.

In the nine months ended Sept. 30, Archipelago had revenues of $32.7 million, an increase of 46.4 percent over the year earlier period, and profits of $6.9 million.

The IPO was lead managed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and William Blair & Co. The underwriters will have the option to purchase an additional 937,500 shares.

Archipelago shares are set to begin trading on Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol “ARCL.” (Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)