Alien Applies for $120M IPO

Alien Technology is capitalizing on the growing use of RFID by filing for an IPO.

With interest rising seemingly daily around radio-frequency identification technology, Alien Technology is cashing in.

The company announced April 14 that it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed $120 million IPO (initial public offering).

Bear, Stearns & Co. is leading the IPO charge, with Cowen & Company, Robert W. Baird & Co. and Advanced Equities acting as co-managers for the offering.

Alien Technology, based in Morgan Hill, Calif., develops RFID tags, readers and battery-operated "passive" hardware that enable long-range tag reads.

The company is also a major developer of Gen 2 readers. An EPCglobal Inc. specification, Gen 2 was ratified in 2005, and put into commercial products in 2006, including Aliens ALR-9800 reader.

While Gen 2 is heralded by many as a big leap forward in both technology and standards, it does have its detractors, primarily those in the pharmaceutical industry that fear the "wattage" released from Gen 2 tags when they are scanned could have the same effect on drugs as a microwave oven, left on high for too long, does on a cup of coffee.

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