The Ariba team took the company public in 1999. In just the first day of trading, the shares increased 300%, valuing the it at $6 Billion and Ariba’s market cap ultimately reached a high of $34 Billion. Their friends at Morgan Stanley wrote this poem as a tribute to the great times they had taking Ariba public.
Ode to Ariba
I’d like to tell you about the IPO of Ariba
And when I am finished, I’ll let Ed smoke his Cohiba
This story began over three years ago
With an idea, 7 guys and $6 million of dough
They built some great products that were bought by big hitters It was clear that these guys were going to be winners
It didn’t take long for investment bankers’ detection And soon Keith and Ed were deluged with affection
U.S. Open golf, ‘9er tickets and the rest All the I-bankers would give it their best
Eventually the decision to go public was made Although we bear Ed made these plans in 10th grade
The RFP involved many points Ed could tally
But, please don’t let that get around Silicon Valley!
IPO positioning, valuation and timing- that’s fine
But a mock roadshow, research report and prospectus outline???
We wanted it badly- an I-banker’s dream
High growth, great customers and an outstanding team
We got little sleep and lost years off our lives
And we all begged forgiveness from significant others, husbands and wives
It was quite a test – we barely lived through it
When Chuck spilled that coffee, we thought that we blew it!
But we got the good word and were soon underways Due diligence and drafting would soon fill our days
We started with great presentations froom many
Keith’s team could be matched pound for pound against any
“We’re off to a great start!” said Keith with a smile
But we’d like to move quickly and take just two weeks to file!”
The team worked at the speed of 10 schwan, I’d say We got on file as planned and beat C-1 by a day
With 30 short days for SEC review
We set out to build the roadshow anew
For the next few weeks, many drafts were revised
We thought Paul’d quit his day job, he worked so hard on the slides
Ed insisted on a video some were afraid wouldn’t fly But it turned out to have immeasurable ROI
Ed’s specially-built cases, however, didn’t make it
Poor Emmalyn’s back – we were afraid they would break it!
Keith is a pro and we knew the road show would sing Especially if we started with the proof in the pudding
It’s no secret. Keith’d say, that Ariba’s product’s the best A 60/60 proposition – like marriage, his wife would attest
Keith kept the pitch lively with GM stories of old
But who really played “Req-req, who’s got the req?” and what was that black hole?
Keith also demonstrated his capacity for facts
But who knows what AMD spends on those tacky mats
And after each meeting. Catherine coached in the car After all, she is the “goddess of IR”
As the roadsbow proceeded. Keith and Ed really hummed And despite the long days found time to have fun
We were oversubscribed 40 times which was nice It had come time in the deal to determine the price
We bumped the range once and the order book grew We could be aggressive on price – that much we knew
At 23 dollars, this deal was no flop
In the air over Texas, you could bear champagne bottles pop
We bad a small party to watch the first trade Chambo claimed boldly, “We just might hit 40 today!”
The rest is history – up 4 times at the close Making Ariba the envy of all of its foes
The IPO is over, Ariba’s got cash in its pocket
Not to mention a stock price that soars like a rocket
With great management and vision, we really believe There’s no limit to what this company can achieve
Thanks to all who were focused, dedicated and smart Ariba’s public company life is off to a great start!