Ruckus Wireless Inc., the privately-held tech company that has created some of the world’s largest outdoor wireless internet (WiFi) networks, has revealed its highly anticipated plans to go public. On Friday, the Sunnyvale, California-based company submitted an SEC filing for a $100 million initial public offering (IPO).
According to Friday’s regulatory filing, Ruckus Wireless has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) to manage the deal. The company added that the projected $100 million is not a firm figure, and is just being used as a placeholder. Ruckus Wireless did not go into any detail yet about the number of shares that will first be made available for the IPO or their price range, and has not commented publicly yet beyond the information provided in the SEC document.
The possibility of Ruckus going public has been the subject of much speculation since its chief rival, BelAir Networks, was acquired by the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson (NYSE: SNE) in February. Like BelAir, Ruckus Wireless has built its business around a vast infrastructure of outdoor WiFi hotspots that allow wireless, wireline, and cable operators to support ever-increasing amounts of data usage. Ruckus CEO Selina Lo has been open about the possibility of going public to avoid what she called in an interview with Reuters the "harbinger of things to come” that BelAir’s acquisition signified: “a period of [Mergers and Acquisitions] activity in the telecoms equipment sector.”
In addition to its Wi-Fi infrastructure, Ruckus also sells enterprise and indoor WiFi gear and it has begun to partner with high profile telecom vendors like Nokia Siemens Networks to incorporate its WiFi infrastrucutre into their networks.
So far, these deals have done more than enough to carry the company independently. Its S-1 filings show the company has grown rapidly this year alone, almost doubling its revenue in the first half of 2012 to $93.9 million. Annual revenues had already increased from $44 million in 2009 to $120 million in 2011. That year, the company also turned its first profit of $4.2 million. Net income over the first six months of 2012 was $24.4 million, compared with a $862,000 loss over the same period in 2011.
Ruckus noted in the filing that it hopes to list its stuck under the ticker symbol “RKUS.”