Speech firm plans public stock offering

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South Side-based DynaVox Inc., a speech technology company, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin selling shares to the public. The offering could raise as much as $125 million.

An initial offering price or time frame "hasn't been determined yet," said Jim Shea, vice president of marketing.

Part of the proceeds would go toward purchasing equity interests from existing owners and part for general corporate purposes and to pay down debt.

A Carnegie Mellon University spinoff founded in 1983, DynaVox would trade on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol, "DVOX."

Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Co. and New York-based Jefferies & Co. Inc. are joint book-running managers for the sale.

DynaVox specializes in technology designed to help people communicate who have cognitive or physical limitations.

The company has seen net income grow in the past three fiscal years, with last fiscal year's rising about $1.6 million to approximately $8.8 million.

DynaVox acquired Mayer-Johnson, a learning technology firm based in San Diego, in 2004 and is often referred to by both names. The company employs about 360 people worldwide.

DynaVox also said it had acquired Eye Response Technologies, a Charlottesville, Va., eye tracking technology firm. Financial details weren't disclosed.

Reach Erich Schwartzel at eschwartzel@post-gazette.com .


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