Scopus, Bio-Light cut IPO aims

A spokesman for Scopus declined to comment on the reason for the cut in the offer price, saying he was forbidden to speak due to regulatory restrictions.

Two companies have reduced the amount of money they planned to raise in initial public offerings, but were tight-lipped as to the reasons why. Rosh Ha'ayin based Scopus Video Networks has cut its target of raising $44 million to $32m., while Bio-Light Israel Life Sciences Investments will attempt to raise NIS 20m. rather than the NIS 24m. it originally sought. Scopus, which develops digital video networking products that enable network operators to offer advanced video services to their subscribers, had planned to make its initial public offering last Thursday but postponed the move for unspecified reasons. The company gave the new price estimate in a revised prospectus it filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission early Tuesday. It had expected to price the offering at between $10 and $12 a share but now expects get between $7 and $9 a share. A spokesman for Scopus declined to comment on the reason for the cut in the offer price, saying he was forbidden to speak due to regulatory restrictions. Others connected with the company also demurred from explaining the move. Meanwhile, holding company Bio-Light Israel Life Sciences Investments, which is planning to list on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in the coming month, will omit a sale to institutional investors and go straight to a public offer, sources said. They didn't, however, give the reason for the move or the reduction in the amount to be raised. In the first nine months of the year, Scopus's net losses widened to $4.2m. from $3.6m. despite revenues rising to $32.9m. from $23.9m. The company has never made a full-year net profit since its inception in 1993, although it did make a net profit in the second- and third-quarters this year. Bio-Light Israel is only a year old and has not yet made revenues. Scopus and Bio-Light are not the only companies to have reduced the aims of their stock offerings recently. Last month, semiconductor developer Passave postponed its initial public offering on Nasdaq due to legal proceedings, while two weeks earlier Ramat Gan-based Predix Pharmaceuticals withdrew its filing to list on Nasdaq, citing 'unfavorable market conditions.' The company had planned to raise about $50m. However, IBI analyst Tal Sirota doesn't believe this points to a trend. Although she declined to comment on specific cases, she did say that while some companies have had difficulties there also have been successful stock issues recently. "I think you need to look at the individual companies, their business models and their results," she said. "As well as the disappointments there have also been success stories, such as Nice and Saifun." Last month, Saifun Semiconductors priced its offering of five million shares at $23.50 each, above its previously anticipated range of $20.50 to $22.50. Nice Systems, which develops digital recording technology, last week priced an offering of American Depositary Shares (ADS) representing four million ordinary shares at $46.25 per share, thereby raising $185m.