May 19, 1999 2:31 PM PDT

EToys prices IPO at $20 a share

EToys Inc. (proposed ticker: ETYS) priced its initial public offering at $20 a share late Wednesday. The online toy seller originally planned to price shares between $10 to $12 a share.

EToys is offering 8.3 million shares with Goldman Sachs serving as the lead underwriter.

The online toy retailer initially had a range between $10 a share and $12 a share. At the mid-point of the new range, the IPO will raise more than $145 million for the company.

EToy's move to maximize its first public fund-raising effort comes as traditional competitors race to become Web players. Toys 'R' Us Inc. (NYSE: TOY), seeking to avoid the fate of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), has already announced plans to spin off its online unit.

And earlier today, KB Toys' parent company teamed with BrainPlay.com to form KBToys.com to sell toys online.

Analysts, however, expect eToys' IPO to be a hot one.

"It's similar to the Barnes & Noble versus Amazon story," said Tom Taulli, author of "Investing in IPOs. "Toys R Us should have been on the Web a long time ago and eToys has cleaned up just as Amazon has cleaned up."

After the IPO, eToys could have a market cap of more than $2 billion from 101.8 million outstanding shares.>

 

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