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With Labor Day over, the work begins in the initial public offering market. The once-torrid market for IPOs, driven to dizzying heights over the past few years by a flood of dot-com offerings, fell to earth last spring when tech share prices slumped. Although the market revived a bit during the summer, the backlog of companies eager to go public has swollen. Many observers believe that if equity markets cooperate, September could be a banner month for IPOs. It won’t happen tomorrow. As Chip Vetter, managing director of corporate finance at San Francisco-based Robertson Stephens Inc. cautions, “Don’t expect many pricings until the second or third week of September.” The reason: the road show cycle only begins again this week, he said. “The real volume will be in third week of September,” he added, noting that his own firm is lead manager for 19 deals currently registered. So far three of those deals are scheduled for this month. Among September’s bigger offerings are four deals lead-managed by Goldman, Sachs & Co. The largest comes from Nextel Communications Inc. Its subsidiary, Reston, Va.-based Nextel International Inc., is looking to raise as much as $920 million to expand its wireless-communications operations in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru. Another Goldman Sachs deal comes from Tality Corp., San Jose, Calif., which provides electronics design services to the communications industry. Tality is majority-owned by Cadence Design Systems Inc., another designer in the same city. If Tality prices the 12,750,000 shares at $12 each, at the top of the range, the company would raise nearly $153 million and create an initial market capitalization of $178.8 million, based on 14,900,000 shares outstanding. Then there is the re-emergence of Snapple Beverage Group Inc., a division of New York-based Triarc Companies Inc. The beverage company, based in White Plains, N.Y., looks to raise $115 million during the last week of this month. Snapple will use the proceeds to help pay corporate debt. Lead manager is Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. Sectors that were hot this summer will continue so. “Expect biotech to continue to do well, even better than it has,” said John Fitzgibbon of WorldFinanceNet.com’s Jersey City, N.J., office. One large biotech deal is Madison, Wis.-based Third Wave Technologies Inc., which provides genetic analysis products. According to the company, its products are suited for large-scale genetic analysis for both clinical and research applications, including drug discovery and development and patient diagnosis treatment. Third Wave, with the help of lead manager Lehman Brothers Inc., has filed to raise $100 million on the Nasdaq. Fitzgibbon is bearish about a comeback for business-to-business or business-to-commerce Internet stocks. “Once momentum in a sector is broken, you can kiss it goodbye, and these sectors were highly speculative anyway,” he said. Copyright (c)2000 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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