Online legal services firm LegalZoom jumps 31pc in debut, valued at US$7b

LegalZoom.com Inc shares opened at US$36.75 per share in its Nasdaq debut, up from the initial public offering price (IPO) of US$28 per share. ― Reuters pic
LegalZoom.com Inc shares opened at US$36.75 per share in its Nasdaq debut, up from the initial public offering price (IPO) of US$28 per share. ― Reuters pic

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NEW YORK, July 1 ― Shares of LegalZoom.com Inc opened 31 per cent above their offer price yesterday, valuing the online legal services company at US$7 billion (RM29 billion) in its Nasdaq debut in what was its second attempt at a stock market listing.

The stock opened at US$36.75 per share, up from the initial public offering price (IPO) of US$28 per share.

LegalZoom, which says its mission is to “democratise” law, was founded in 2001 and offers a range of services including estate planning, divorce, name change and residential leases.

The Glendale, California-based company was co-founded by Robert Shapiro, who was part of OJ Simpson's legal defense team. He worked on the case with Robert Kardashian, the late father of celebrity Kim Kardashian.

LegalZoom first filed for an IPO in 2012, which was postponed and then withdrawn after two years. It was valued at US$2 billion after a US$500 million investment led by Francisco Partners and GPI Capital in 2018.

The company sold around 19.1 million shares in its IPO on Tuesday, raising about US$535.4 million.

Shares were priced above the higher end of the US$24 per share to US$27 per share range announced earlier.

LegalZoom, which faces tough competition from solo attorneys and law firms, has been involved in several lawsuits alleging unauthorised practice of law or unfair competition. The company, however, denies these allegations.

Certain funds managed by BlackRock Inc's subsidiaries and affiliates of Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers could each buy up to US$75 million worth of shares at the IPO price, LegalZoom had said in its prospectus earlier this month.

Separately, shares of Intapp Inc, a software provider for professional services and capital markets' firms, which is backed by Singapore's Temasek and private equity firm Great Hill Partners, rose 3 per cent in their debut. ― Reuters

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