On-line health supplement retailer and manufacturer Vitacost.com set the estimated price range on Monday for shares in its planned initial public offering, a sign that its stock flotation could be imminent.
The Boca Raton, Florida-based retailer said in an updated prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects to sell 11 million shares for between $11 and $13 each.
One of the IPO's underwriters said the date of the deal's pricing is still being determined. But an IPO usually launches within two or three weeks after an issuer sets terms such as the number of shares to be sold and their estimate range.
If so, Vitacost.com could become the first e-commerce IPO since a $48 million deal by Internet Brands Inc (INET.O) in November 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.
VS Holdings Inc, the parent of rival Vitamin Shoppe Inc, which operates a chain of stores and an online store, filed in July to raise $143.8 million in an IPO, though it has yet to set the terms.
Vitacost.com had sales of $93.2 million in the first six months of 2009, up 35.6 percent from a year earlier, while net income rose nearly tenfold over the same period to $7.2 million.
The company began operations in 1994 known as Nature's Wealth Company and was a catalog retailer of third-party vitamins and dietary supplements. In 1999, Vitacost.com was launched.
About 59 percent of shares sold in the IPO are held by existing shareholders, mostly directors, meaning that Vitacost.com will net about $48.5 million, which it said it will use in part to retrofit manufacturing equipment and pay down debt.
Vitacost.com filed for its IPO in June 2007, when it applied to raise up to $57 million. In June 2009, it updated its application, seeking permission to raise up to $143 million.
Vitacost.com's IPO will be led by Jefferies & Co and Oppenheimer & Co.
Vitacost.com plans to list its shares on Nasdaq under the symbol VITC VITC.O.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)