June 5, 2006, 12:00 AM

GNC plans another IPO

Multi-channel retailer GNC Corp., which so far this year has recorded almost $4 million in e-commerce revenue, is going public. GNC, which launched its first e-commerce site in December, filed for a new initial public offering on June 2.

Multi-channel retailer GNC Corp., which so far this year has recorded almost $4 million in e-commerce revenue, is going public. GNC, which launched its first e-commerce site in December, filed for a new initial public offering on June 2. Terms of the IPO haven’t been set, but the transaction will be underwritten by Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and UBS Investment Bank.

Two years ago GNC, the largest global specialty retailer of health and wellness products with almost 6,000 stores, filed an S1 registration to go public, but later withdrew the IPO due to unfavorable marketing conditions.

According to GNC’s new IPO, the retailer will use the proceeds to redeem $100 million of outstanding preferred stock and for general working capital and corporate expansion. In 2005, GNC reported net income of $18.4 million on total sales of $1.31 billion, compared with net income of $41.7 million on total revenue of $1.34 billion in 2004.

GNC, which uses GSI Commerce Inc. as its e-commerce platform provider, is a newcomer to web retailing. GNC.com was launched in December 2005 and to date has recorded web sales of $3.8 million, the company says in its S1 papers. GSI Commerce provides GNC with e-commerce technology, fulfillment and customer care operations.

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