Centerprise Withdraws IPO Bid
Two weeks ago, CPA firm roll-up-wanna-be Centerprise Advisors LLC got approval from the SEC to start determining investor interest in a planned IPO. This Monday, Centerprise received regulatory approval from the SEC to begin trading on Tuesday morning. Later that day, Centerprise CEO Bob Basten withdrew the IPO because of unfavorable market conditions.
Centerprise had planned an IPO to buy and consolidate eight CPA firms and three insurance brokerages with the proceeds, and be the first to successfully take a CPA firm-based consulting organization public.
The IPO, underwritten by Merrill Lynch, was set for 10.5 million shares, set to go on the market at $11.50 - $13.50 per share, for a total capitalization of over $140 million.
Speculation about the reasons for the withdrawal indicate that investors are too enamored with Internet stocks at this point to get a favorable reception on the stock market for a service oriented company.
Centerprise will regroup, research their options, and continue to explore alternatives to accomplish the consolidation in a profitable manner.