By Mary Welch

Genomic Solutions Inc. intends to raise $80 million to $90 million by selling 5 million shares in an initial public offering. The company has set the stock┬┐s price range at $16 to $18 per share.

The proceeds will be used to increase its working capital, as well as for general corporate purposes. In addition, it will use $9.7 million to repay principal and interest on its outstanding subordinated notes. The proceeds should provide 12 months of operating cash.

Warburg Dillon Read LLC, of New York, is the lead underwriter. Punk Ziegel & Co. LP, of New York, and Dain Rauscher Wessels, of Minneapolis, are co-managing underwriters. After the offering there will be a little more than 20 million shares outstanding.

The company, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., develops, manufactures and markets genomic and proteomic instrumentation, software, consumables and services. Its biochip products are used for large-scale gene expression analysis, and its proteomic products are used to isolate, identify and characterize proteins. The products and systems are designed to enable researchers to perform complex, high-volume experiments at lower costs and in less time than with traditional techniques, the company said in its SEC filing.

Since 1997, the company has sold its products to more than 100 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and private research institutions. Among its customers are Merck and Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J.; Cambridge Antibody Technology Group, of Melbourn, UK; and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The customers use the systems to produce biochips, maintain DNA libraries, quantify gene expression levels and isolate, identify and characterize proteins.

The company reported 1999 revenues of $12 million with a net loss of $11.1 million. As of Dec. 31, it had $1.3 million in cash.

Among the leading institutional shareholders are Chase Venture Capital Associates, of New York; Mackowski & Shepler, of San Francisco; American Healthcare Fund II, of Boulder, Colo.; and PerkinElmer Inc., of Wellesley, Mass.

Genomic Solutions┬┐ proposed Nasdaq ticker symbol is GNSL.

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