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VLW parent company went public today

MINNEAPOLIS – Dolan Media, the parent company of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, went public today.

The Minneapolis-based firm’s shares opened on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DM,” with an initial public offering price of $14.50.
When trading commenced at 10 a.m., shares opened at $16.40 apiece and quickly climbed to trade above $17 per share.

The operator of niche business and law publications said net proceeds from the offering are expected to be approximately $138.6 million and will be used to redeem all outstanding shares of the company’s preferred stock, to repay $30 million of outstanding debt under the company’s credit facility, and for general corporate purposes, including acquisitions and working capital.

In 2006, the company’s revenue increased to $111.6 million from $77.9 million. However, net loss widened to $14 million from $7.5 million in the previous year, according to an April Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Merrill Lynch & Co. are acting as joint bookrunners and as representatives of the underwriters. Piper Jaffray & Co. and Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC are acting as co-managers.

Dolan Media owns niche newspapers in 19 markets, including Richmond, New Orleans, Baltimore, St. Louis and Boston. It acquired the Lawyers Weekly chain of publications in 2004.

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