The world’s biggest online gay media company has launched a US$55 million stock market float.

The US-based company PlanetOut Inc was incorporated in December 2000 and accumulated a network of websites, including Gay.com and PlanetOut.com.

According to Nielsen NetRatings in June 2004, Gay.com is ranked second in terms of average time online per person and 16th in terms of visits per person among all websites measured.

Overall the company has 3.3 million active members from more than 100 countries using its websites. Premium membership services are offered in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
The share float is being managed by WR Hambrecht + Co and 4.65 million shares are being offered at an expected price between US$12 and $14. The final price offer will be announced next week.

In the prospectus, PlanetOut states it has registered 2.2 million new members in the 12-month period ended 30 June 2004.

Total revenue increased approximately 30 percent to US$11.5 million in the six months ended 30 June 2004 from $8.9 million in the six months ended 30 June 2003, the prospectus stated.

For the six months ended 30 June 2004, subscription revenue accounted for 68 percent, and advertising revenue accounted for 24 percent.

Through our global reach, we believe that we are able to provide advertisers with unparalleled access to the LGBT community. We generate revenue from run-of-site advertising, an advertising option in which advertisements are displayed across all sections of a website or a family of websites, advertising within specialised content channels and on our online-community areas, member-targeted emails and research for our advertisers. We have run advertising campaigns on our network of numerous Fortune 500 and other companies.

PlanetOut’s goal is to enhance its position as a gay-focused media market leader by connecting, enriching and illuminating the lives of gay and lesbian people worldwide.

The prospectus acknowledges risks associated with the business.

We have a history of significant losses and we may continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future given our anticipated increase in sales and marketing expenditures.

We incurred net losses of approximately US$16.5 million, $7.9 million and $0.8 million for the years ended 31 December 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively. As of 31 March 2004, our accumulated deficit was approximately $37 million.

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