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Genentech Stock To Debut

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical giant Genentech is poised to make its public debut Tuesday with a strong open after pricing its hefty $2 billion IPO above its range.

The deal is Tuesday's 800-pound gorilla of the IPO market, likely to bounce as four fresh offerings priced at the top or above their price ranges.

Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson rang the opening bell for the NYSE on Tuesday from a cable car in San Francisco, where the company is headquartered. It was the first "remote ringing," according to the Big Board.

Genentech, which will trade under the symbol "DNA" priced its 20 million share offering at $97 a share in a bid to raise $2 billion along with lead underwriter J.P. Morgan Securities.

In a sign of strong demand, Genentech's price range was raised to $88-$98 from $85-$95 per share on Monday.

The IPO comes after parent company Roche Holding AG on June 14 exercised its right for Genentech to redeem all outstanding common shares not owned by Roche. Roche acquired the remainder of Genentech, then decided to refloat a portion of the company. The company had previously traded from 1994 to 1999 under the ticker GNE.

One of the world's largest biotech firms, Genentech produces Activase for post-heart attack treatment; human growth hormones Protropin and Nutropin and the widely-heralded Herceptin for breast cancer. It also makes Pulmozyme for cystic fibrosis treatment and Rituxan, according to Hoover's Online.

In other IPOs Tuesday:

  • The largest Internet related IPO of Tuesday will likely be Engage Technologies (ENGA), which priced its 6 million share at $15 per share, the top of it upwardly-revised range of $13 to $15 per share. The Andover, Mass. provider of profile-driven Internet marketing solutions increased its price from $9 to $11 on Monday. The company, which is 95-percent owned by Internet kingmaker CMGI, (CMGI), will raise about $90 million with lead underwriter Goldman Sachs.
  • Also set to roll on Tuesday is a $125.6 million IPO from Englewood, Colo.-based Convergent Communications (CONV). The provider of single-source data and voice communications systems and services priced its 8.4 million shares at $15 per share.
  • Talk City (TCTY) priced at the upper end of its upwardly-revised range of $12 per share for its 4.5 million share offering. The Internet provider of online communities and interactive services for businesses and consumers is on track to raise $62.1 million with lead underwriter Lehman Bros. On Monday, the Campbell, Calif. firm upped it price range from $8 to 10 to $10 to $12. Stockholders include General Electric unit (GE) NBC, which owns about 12.2 percent; New York Life Insurance Co. with 7.5 percent; Hearst Communications with 6.5 percent; Cox Interactive Media with 6.5 percent, and Starbucks with 5.2 percent.

Written By Steve Gelsi, CBS MarketWatch

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