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Cashing In Its Chips

5:35 PM -- Mellanox inched closer to becoming the first storage company to go public in 2007 late Tuesday, when it set a target range for its IPO price of $12 to $14 per share.

It will likely have plenty of company by time the year is out.

The InfiniBand chip firm will likely price its shares and become a public company around the first week of February. And judging from the 2006 storage IPOs of Riverbed, CommVault, Double-Take, and Isilon, Mellanox will likely clock in near the high end of its range. (See Double-Take, Isilon Go Public, CommVault Swims in Public Pool, and Riverbed Comes Out at $9.75.)

Riverbed and Isilon had IPO prices above their target range, while CommVault and Double-Take hit the high end of their targets. If Mellanox hits $14, it would beat the IPO price of all but CommVault, which opened at $14.50.

But the firm Mellanox most wants to emulate is Riverbed, which opened at $9.75 in late September and hit a closing price of $32.47 today -- making its shares the highest priced of the new storage IPOs.

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