July 13, 2007, 12:00 AM

Ulta plans an IPO and a web site makeover

Ulta Cosmetics, Salon & Fragrance Inc. wants to go public and sees e-commerce as a significant growth opportunity, the retailer says in its just released S1 registration. Up first: an extensive site redesign.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

 

Ulta Cosmetics, Salon & Fragrance Inc. wants to go public and sees its e-commerce site as a significant growth opportunity, the retailer says in its just released S1 filing.

Terms have yet to be announced, but the company would use the proceeds from an initial public offering to pay approximately $91.9 million of accumulated dividends in arrears on its preferred stock, according to the S1 filing.

But Ulta, which posted net income of $22.5 million on revenue of $755.1 million for the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, 2007, also has bigger things in mind for e-commerce.

Though the company doesn’t break out specific e-commerce metrics, Ulta says it will do an extensive redesign of Ulta.com and launch a newly updated site by June 2008. Ulta, which operates 207 stores in 26 states, will relaunch Ulta.com with expanded features and functions, easier navigation and an enhanced online loyalty program.

The retailer also plans to add more beauty and fashion-related content and include more links to its suppliers. “We intend to establish ourselves as a leading online beauty resource for women,” the company says in its S1 registration. “Through the relaunch of our web site, we will be well positioned to capitalize on the growth of Internet sales of beauty products.” An S1 is required for companies wishing to sell stock or debt publicly that have not been regularly reporting to the SEC.

The filing also notes that the web site improvements are part of a planned $22.6 million expansion of information technology equipment and services. Ulta runs its e-commerce operations under a wholly owned subsidiary, Ulta Internet Holdings Inc. “Our Internet operations, while relatively small, are increasingly important to our business,” the company says in its S1 filing.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wachovia Corp. are the lead underwriters on the deal.

 

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