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LOGOS RESEARCH SYSTEMS: FOR THIS VIRTUAL IPO, REALITY BYTES

Robert D. Pritchett, CEO of Logos Research Systems Inc., likes to think of his company as the first to try going public over the Internet when it didn't have to. With $5 million in revenues and four consecutive years of profitability, the publisher of electronic, multilingual Bibles and reference books might have taken a more conventional route. But after easily raising $500,000 earlier this year through a private placement, Pritchett decided to see just how plausible raising $4.5 million on the Web could be--and how much money he might save bypassing bankers and brokers. So far, there have been only a handful of Internet IPOs, in which a company posts its prospectus on the Web, and investors buy stock directly from the company.

Since making Logos' offering available on its home page in July, Pritchett's financial experiment has hit some snags. Without a sales force or an ad campaign to promote the IPO, the Oak Harbor (Wash.) company hasn't attracted many would-be buyers. Those who read about it on the Logos Web site prefer to receive a costlier hard copy of the prospectus. Pritchett even had to go on a mini-road show, talking to investors in cities where Logos has a strong customer base, including Dallas and Houston.

Pritchett is staying virtual, but may sign up brokers. He has also applied for a listing on NASDAQ's small-cap exchange while awaiting the SEC's nod on his deal. ''The Internet isn't a miracle solution,'' says the 25-year-old. ''You think if you put something on the Web, the masses will come. But that's not true.''

By Linda Himelstein in San Francisco


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Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
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