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BakBone Calls a Reverse

BakBone Software Inc. (Toronto: BKB) wants its stockholders to approve a reverse split in hopes of beating a rival backup software company to a Nasdaq listing.

Bakbone today filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) calling for a special meeting April 29 to seek approval for a reverse split. If approved, BakBones board of directors can effect a reverse stock split any time during the next year at up to a 5-to-1 ratio. The goal is to reduce the number of shares and raise the stock price. BakBone is traded on the Toronto Exchange, but cannot be listed on Nasdaq until it achieves a minimum bid price of $5.00 per share. BakBone’s stock opened at $3.73 today.

“The listing of BakBone's common shares on a major United States trading market such as Nasdaq is an important corporate objective of the company," BakBone CEO Keith Rickard said.

In its proxy statement, BakBone said it will probably pursue a Nasdaq listing and public offering. The company gave a hint of its strategy Jan. 26 when it added IPO veteran Bruce Nakao to its board of directors. Nakao was CFO of Ask Jeeves when it went public in July 1999 (see Bakbone Adds to Board).

BakBone competitor CommVault Systems Inc. is also expected to go public within a year (see Window of Opportunity). The race is on; the company that shoots for a Nasdaq IPO first could be at a big advantage. “The first pure-play backup software vendor to hit the market will make a dent. The second one will have less of an impact," says financial analyst Steve Berg of Punk Ziegel & Co.

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