Palantir Technologies Inc., the secretive big-data firm, plans to file to go public in the coming weeks and could start trading as early as the fall, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Palo Alto, California-based company is preparing to register an S-1 filing confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.
Palantir is working with bankers to organize a tender offer for private shareholders to help clean up its capital structure ahead of an initial public offering, the people said. It is also working with an IPO readiness consultant, they said.
Private investors last valued Palantir at $20 billion in 2015. It’s not clear what valuation it may seek in an IPO.
No final decision has been made and its plans could still change.
A representative for Palantir declined to comment.
Co-founded by venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Palantir’s software mines troves of personal and commercial data and looks for patterns. The company, founded in 2003, got its start interpreting intelligence for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon then moved on to banks, helping them watch for suspicious behavior.
Dozens of law enforcement and government agencies around the world use Palantir to find missing children, investigate tax fraud and track the spread of Covid-19. The pandemic has boosted business, particularly with commercial clients using its products to help figure out how to reopen.
It had long resisted a public offering to avoid getting valued as a consultancy, and to stay out of the public eye as it worked toward profitability, people familiar with the matter have said.
The company could go public within a year, Chief Executive Officer Alex Karp said in an interview with Axios Media on HBO last month.
Palantir is in the process of expanding its board — composed of Thiel and three other men — to improve corporate governance and diversify perspectives. The company is interviewing candidates and intends to elect at least two independent members by the end of the year, people familiar with the matter said in April.
— With assistance by Crystal Tse, Scott Deveau, and Gillian Tan
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