Proto Labs Modifies IPO Plans, Will Raise Up to $65M

The Maple Grove-based company now plans to raise less than originally expected through its planned initial public offering; in July, it filed for an IPO of stock that would raise up to $100 million.

Proto Labs plans to offer 4.3 million shares of common stock at $13 to $15 each through an initial public offering, according to a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

That equates to between $55.9 million and $64.5 million-substantially less than the $100 million that the Maple Grove-based company previously indicated that it wanted to raise through its planned IPO.

Proto Labs, which makes custom mechanical parts for product developers worldwide, in July filed for an IPO of stock that would raise up to $100 million. The company plans to use net proceeds from its offering for “working capital and general corporate purposes.”

Proto Labs uses high-tech machining and injection molding to manufacture parts for customers in a variety of industries. The parts are typically used for prototypes and short-run productions. Unlike many custom manufacturers, Proto Labs specializes in low-volume production-“an underserved market due to the inefficiencies inherent in the quotation, equipment set-up, and non-recurring engineering processes required to product custom parts,” according to Monday's SEC filing. The company's tagline is “Real Parts. Really Fast.”

Proto Labs, founded in 1999, has grown its revenues from $35.9 million in 2007 to $98.9 million in 2011. Meanwhile, the company has grown from roughly 230 full-time employees in early 2008 to 511 at the end of last year.

Proto Labs has applied to have its common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRLB.”

In its latest SEC filing, the company didn't specify a date for its stock offering.

Minnesota's IPO activity has been sluggish in recent years amid economic uncertainty. Only two local companies went public last year: Plymouth-based Kips Bay Medical, Inc., and Amsterdam-based medical device company Tornier, which has its U.S. headquarters in Edina.

Two of the state's companies completed IPOs in 2010 as well-New Prague-based Electromed, Inc., and Minneapolis-based SPS Commerce. Meanwhile, one company went public in 2009 and none completed an IPO in 2008.

In April 2011, Eden Prairie-based catalog and online retailer Bluestem Brands, Inc., filed for an IPO that could raise up to $150 million-but the company said in November that it would postpone its offering, declining to reveal the reasoning behind its decision.

Also in November, Plymouth-based BioAmber, Inc.-a renewable chemistry start-up-indicated in a regulatory filing that it planned to raise $150 million through an IPO, but the offering hasn't been completed.