VA Linux Systems hopes to be the next Linux player to go to the markets following the success of Red Hat’s initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday, but also plans to move into Europe before the end of the year.
The supplier, which sells Linux systems and servers predominantly to the Internet Service Provider community, is also a member of the Trillian Project, which is porting Linux over to Intel’s IA-64 architecture (see related story).
Larry Augustin, VA’s president and chief executive, said: “We’ve got plans to go public, but it will depend on market conditions. The market has been all over the place lately and we’ve also got the Year 2000 issue to think about. But we’re not in our quiet period yet, so it’s at least three months away.”
He added: “I hope to move into Europe and Asia as soon as possible. We got a $25 milion round of financing in June, so it’s not an issue of money. It will probably with a reseller partner or joint venture with a local partner and not direct sales offices, but we’re trying to decide and we’ll do it before the end of the year.”
But Eric Raymond, self styled Linux public relations officer and VA’s non executive director, said: “The Linux community was happy about Red Hat’s IPO (initial public offering), although there was a lot of bad feeling about people not being able to get involved because they didn’t fit Wall Street’s investor profile, which requires a certain level of experience in investing and the like.”
He added: “But all the Linux distributors will be following now, including the company I’m not executive director for, which wants to be number two.”
Red Hat saw its offering price more than triple on its first day of trading - its shares started at $14, but closed up 38 1/16 or 272 per cent at $52 1/16.
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