Los Angeles Business Journal

Ceres Lowers IPO Expectations

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, February 9, 2012

Agricultural biotech Ceres Inc. was set to go public today after reducing the estimated price range of its initial public offering of 5 million shares to a range of $16 to $17 each.

Based on the mid-range price, the Thousand Oaks company expects to receive net proceeds of $72.2 million, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday. The company expects to have about 23.9 million shares outstanding following the offering, most held by early investors and insiders.

Shares will trade under the ticker symbol CERE on the Nasdaq. The company’s venture backers include Artal Luxembourg, Oxford Bioscience and Monsanto Corp.

Ceres, which is developing seeds for crops used to make biofuels, earlier expected to price shares at between $21 and $23 and net about $97.8 million. But a volatile market has prompted it and a number of other companies to pull back expectations on their IPOs.

The company, founded in 1997, will use IPO proceeds to develop and commercialize its seeds. Ceres is in the process of marketing high-biomass sorghum seeds in the United States and sweet sorghum seeds in Brazil.