Luminant preps IPO, Y&R ups stake

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Luminant Worldwide Corp., Dallas, is expected to make its initial public offering Sept. 16, selling 4.1 million shares at $15 to $17 a share. Luminant will use its cash and stock to buy eight interactive shops, including Young & Rubicam's Brand Dialogue-New York, and then open for business as one of the industry's larger Web services agencies. Y&R is receiving $67.1 million worth of stock for its Web shop.

Luminant, formerly Clarant Worldwide Corp., delayed its offering last month amid an IPO slump and then this month cut the number of shares offered while raising the share price.

Luminant this week again cut the number of shares in its public offering when Y&R agreed to pay $15 million for a larger stake. Y&R, which early on had been expected to own 11.3 to 13.4% of Luminant, now will own 22% to 27.5% depending on whether it exercises options.

Meanwhile, United Airlines may take a flier on Luminant. The shop gave the airline warrants to buy 300,000 shares in coming years at the IPO price. Luminant has a deal with United to offer e-commerce and other services through 2004. A rival, Delta Air Lines, has profited handily with its investment in another Web venture, Priceline.com.

Luminant's agencies had an operating loss of $50.7 million on revenues of $41.4 million in the six months ended June 30.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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