Lionbridge sells shares to pay debts

14 Aug 2003

Localisation firm Lionbridge, which employs 20pc of its workforce in Ireland, some 200 people, has sold 11 million shares for US$67.2m to investment underwriter Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co in order to pay its debts and fund future acquisitions.

Nasdaq-listed Lionbridge, which provides globalisation and testing services to some of the world’s largest software firms from its operations in Dublin, offered Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co 11 million shares valued at US$6.10 each. The provider of multilingual internet services had originally filed to sell seven million shares.

Rory Cowan, chairman, CEO and president of Lionbridge Technologies commented: “Proceeds from the offering will allow us accelerate debt repayment to reduce interest related expenses, increase working capital, and to make strategic acquisitions of related businesses.”

Lionbridge granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 1,650,000 additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, with 1,340,000 shares to be offered by the Company and 310,000 shares to be offered by shareholders. The proceeds to Lionbridge, net of underwriting costs but before other expenses, will be approximately US$63.4m.

“This transaction reflects the strength of market demand for companies with proven and promising operations,” said Emanuel Friedman, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co.

In July, Lionbridge, which employs 200 people here in Ireland, reported revenues of US$37.3m, an increase of 26pc compared to revenue of US$29.5m for the second quarter of 2002, and an increase of 21pc compared to revenue of $30.9 million for the first quarter of 2003. For the six months ended June 30, 2003, the company reported revenue of US$68.1m, a 25pc increase compared to revenue of US$54.4m for the same period 2002.

By John Kennedy