February 17, 2005
../ No Noise Reduction For Dolby's IPO
Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
went public yesterday and found its share price soaring 35% from its initial
IPO at the end of its first day of trading. Ray Dolby, the 71 year old founder
of the company, cashed in big by selling off 17 million of the 27.5 million shares offered. His
$306 million windfall ended Dolby Laboratories' nearly 40 years as a private company.
Underwritten by Morgan Stanley, the stock debuted at $18 dollars and
closed at $24.30 on the New York Stock Exchange. This was a solid endorsement of the company and of
Mr. Dolby who will remain as chairman. In fact, Dolby still retains
97% of the company's Class B common shares, which have significantly more voting
power than the Class A shares offered during the IPO.
Founded in 1965, Dolby Laboratories built its business by
leveraging its patents and technologies with lucrative licensing agreements.
This was quite pioneering 30 years ago and helped pave the way for other companies who followed their model. Dolby Labs first came into
prominence with analog tape noise reduction intelligence and then went
into digital audio and surround sound for film. Its patents have garnered
royalties from manufacturers of over 1.6 billion products according to their disclosure.
The Future: At 71 Ray Dolby displays no signs of slowing down or
fading into the sunset. His company's IPO ensures that his family will not go wanting in the near future unless he has a pair of
table-top dancing granddaughters named Paris and Nicky that we don't know
about. Although, sales of DVD players, where Dolby acquires the majority of its royalties these days, will slow from its current fevered
pace, the company is doing better than ever with a 30% net revenue gain last year, and will continue to do for the next couple of years.
>>> Digihear? February 2005
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