March 28, 1997 6:00 PM ET
Modular PC maker Nexar to go public
Just pop off the sides and add a microprocessor, memory or a hard drive. Now the Westboro, Mass., maker of easy-to-upgrade PCs is looking to go public and raise at least $27.5 million.
By Margaret Kane

  Startup Nexar Technologies Inc., which created some buzz last year with an easy-to-upgrade line of modular PCs, now wants to go public.

The Westboro, Mass., manufacturer has filed for an initial public offering of 2.5 million shares. In documents registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nexar said it would be asking for $11 to $13 per share, and would use the $27.5 million to $32.5 million it expects to raise partially to pay off debt.

After the IPO, Nexar's current parent, medical laser manufacturer Palomar Medical Technologies Inc., will own about 66 percent of the outstanding shares.

Nexar's systems are designed so that they can be configured or upgraded just by removing side panels on each side of the minitower chassis. The systems are typically shipped to resellers without the key system-defining components -- microprocessor, memory and hard drive -- but otherwise fully configured.

The company began shipping the systems in volume a year ago. Up until now, most of its systems have been bought by one company, Government Technology Services Inc., a government reseller, according to the documents registered with the SEC.

Sales to GTSI and others brought in $18.7 million in the last fiscal year, but Nexar ended up with a net loss of $7.5 million. But according to the prospectus, a non-binding agreement between GTSI and Nexar would include $35 million worth of sales next year.

Nexar also plans to offer new PCs by the middle of this year featuring its Cross-Processor Architecture, known as NEXAR XPA, which allows resellers to add CPUs to a product after shipment, including the Pentium or Pentium Pro. Nexar is also creating a similar system for Digital Equipment Corp.'s Alpha chip and plans to introduce a network server later this year.

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