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So much for a summer slowdown. The market for initial public offerings is flush with new offerings: 32 deals worth almost $4 billion are scheduled to price this week. “It looks like an IPO calendar for the middle of May,” not July, says Jeff Hirschkorn, senior market analyst with New York-based IPO.com. “Folks who were scared off during the second quarter are coming back with some quality offerings,” he said. When the dot-com bubble burst in April, sending the Nasdaq below 4,000 for weeks, bankers shelved many planned IPOs, creating a backlog of almost 400 deals. But with a more stable market, among other factors, underwriters are anxious to launch new offerings. Of the 32 deals set to price this week, analysts are keeping their eyes focused on three in particular: data-networking equipment maker Avici Systems of North Billerica, Mass.; fiber optics company Corvis Corp., based in Columbia, Md.; and TyCom Ltd. of Pembroke, Bermuda, an undersea fiber-optic network builder and spinoff of industrial giant Tyco International Ltd. TyCom is by far the largest offering of the week. The company hopes to raise $1.2 billion by offering 43.5 million shares at between $26 and $30 per share. Goldman, Sachs & Co., Salomon Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch & Co. are co-lead underwriters of the offering, which represents a 9% float of the company. TyCom plans to use the proceeds of the IPO to help finance its worldwide undersea fiber-optic cable network. In 1999, it had revenues of $629 billion and posted a loss of $63 million. Although Avici and Corvis are in the same white-hot industry, analysts expect Avici to blow Corvis away when it starts trading. That’s because Avici is booking revenue and Corvis isn’t. Corvis also got hit with a patent-infringement lawsuit last week in federal court in Delaware by Ciena Corp., an optical networking company based in Linthicum, Md. One analyst believes the litigation may delay the IPO. A Corvis spokesman refused to comment on the lawsuit and any effect it may have on the offering. Meanwhile, Avici is offering 6 million shares that are expected to price between $18 and $20. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. is the lead underwriter on the $114 million deal. Nortel Networks holds a pre-IPO stake of 16% in the company, and The Williams Companies, one of Avici’s customers, will buy $5 million in stock at Avici’s IPO price in a private placement that will occur when Avici starts trading. The Williams Cos., based in Tulsa, Okla., also has the option to buy $5 million worth of Corvis stock at its IPO price. Copyright �2000 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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