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Launch Media Blasts Off on First Trading Day

April 24, 1999|KAREN KAPLAN

Launch Media shares recorded a 29% gain in their first day of trading Friday, rising $6.38 to $28.38 on Nasdaq.

The Santa Monica firm, which produces a music-oriented Web site and CD-ROM magazine, saw its stock rise as high as $36.69 in early-morning trading, then linger in the low-$30 range before dropping at the end of the day.

Launch's co-founders, David Goldberg and Robert Roback, became paper millionaires. Based on Friday's closing price, Chairman and Chief Executive Goldberg's stake in the company is worth more than $11.4 million, and President Roback's shares are worth more than $6 million.

But the biggest stakes belong to General Electric Co. subsidiaries NBC Multimedia and General Electric Capital Corp. Each unit holds shares worth $35.7 million.

The company's total market capitalization stood at $341 million. Launch sold 3.4 million shares at $22 each to raise nearly $75 million in its initial public offering Thursday. Hambrecht & Quist Inc. was the lead underwriter.

The shares trade under the symbol LAUN.

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