Employee union launches IPO blog

Those looking for information about the upcoming initial public offering planned by Science Applications International Corp. have a new resource. The Service Employees International Union has created a blog to keep tabs on the employee-owned company's impending plans.

The SEIU launched the inaugural installment of the blog this week with a two-page report that addresses the costs of taking the company public, as well as the costs to current employee-shareholders.

The focus areas of the first report are the possible costs of executive stock options and the impact of unequal voting share classes on shareholder value. The report also explores the high cost of fully implementing Sarbanes-Oxley reporting requirements, the effect of "poison pill" language designed to dissuade any potential takeover attempts and the influence of losing the company's employee ownership culture.

No current date or price is set for the IPO. SAIC had planned to announce the stock price in December, but the move was delayed, according to a statement from company chairman and CEO Ken Dahlberg.

In a Dec. 16 letter to company employees and shareholders, which SAIC published on its Web site, Dahlberg wrote that the company will first file its annual audited financial statements in April. Then the company will hold a stockholders meeting, after which SAIC will move forward with its IPO.

The company first announced its IPO plans in September. The move was delayed because of an inquiry into SAIC's performance and loss of at least $115 million on the company's contract for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Dalhberg said in the letter.

The SEIU represents 1.8 million health care, property services and public sector employees who participate in pension funds with more than $1 trillion in assets, according to a union statement.

SAIC has about 43,000 employees and annual revenues of $7.2 billion in fiscal 2005. The company ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of federal prime contractors.

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