A ‘paper’ windfall in LogMeIn IPO

Contact: Brenon Daly

One of the investment banks that profited the most from Wednesday’s strong debut of LogMeIn wasn’t even on the prospectus. Instead, it was in the prospectus. McNamee Lawrence, an advisory shop with no underwriting business, realized a tidy little $2m windfall from the IPO.

Heading into the offering, McNamee Lawrence held some 99,000 shares in LogMeIn that it picked up in late 2004 for helping to place the startup’s series A funding round, as well as other advisory work. McNamee Lawrence took a small amount of money off the table, selling some 21,000 shares at the $16 initial pricing of LogMeIn. That netted the bank about $336,000. It still holds some 78,000 shares, which had a paper value of about $1.6m, based on the price of LogMeIn shares on Thursday afternoon.

Granted, the holdings of McNamee Lawrence are only a tiny slice of the overall 21.4 million LogMeIn shares outstanding. And the firm’s stake is a fraction of the major owners of LogMeIn, Prism Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners. Prism holds shares worth about $80m, while Polaris, which sold $7.4m worth of shares in the offering, still owns a chunk valued at about $59m.

Still, the shares represent a nice windfall for McNamee Lawrence. (In addition, some of the firm’s partners put money individually into LogMeIn in the company’s seed round in early 2004.) Of course, the practice of taking paper as payment was pretty common across all kinds of service providers back in the Bubble Era, when startups routinely handed out options and warrants to cover bills from banks, lawyers and even landlords. After so many people got burned by taking worthless options and warrants in the early 2000s, however, cash returned as the currency of choice.