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The Nasdaq was chugging along just fine in February when Software Technologies Corp. filed for its IPO. But by the time the company went public in April, the Nasdaq had declined by more than 700 points. So keeping the Monrovia, Calif.-based company’s prospects alive took some doing for bankers and lawyers. “It was basically the company and underwriters making a decision about where the market was, where the demand was, and coming up with the right offering size,” said J. Robert Suffoletta Jr., a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Wilson Sonsini’s Suffoletta and partner Jeffrey Saper represented the company in the IPO while Suzanne Sawochka Hooper, a Cooley Godward partner in Palo Alto, Calif., represented the underwriter, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Software Technologies was one of three IPOs for Wilson Sonsini last month. And even in a faltering market, the company scored a fat return for the firm and individuals at Wilson, who own a total of 128,264 shares that were valued at $2.29 million at the IPO. Software Technologies had originally tried to raise $126 million. That wasn’t unreasonable for a profitable company that had logged $55.2 million in sales in 1999. But by late April, the Nasdaq had slipped to below 4,000 points, and executives and bankers were getting worried. They started slashing the offering size and the opening price range. In March, the company was seeking to sell 6.1 million shares at $16 to $18 per share. A month later, it had cut the offering to 4 million shares at $12 per share. The company’s shares closed the first day at $17.88, which was a modest pop but a happy event nonetheless in light of the Nasdaq’s close at 3774 that day. “The company viewed it as a positive that the stock went up and that even in a weak and volatile market, the stock was accepted,” Suffoletta said.

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