Atlantic Beverage hopes IPO will raise $10 million


An article in yesterday's Business section about Atlantic Beverage Co. Inc. incorrectly reported the name of the company's chairman.

He is Eric D. Becker.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Atlantic Beverage Co. Inc., formerly called Maryland Beverage Co. Inc., plans to raise about $10 million in an initial public stock offering.

The company is a wholesale distributor in the Baltimore and Washington areas of specialty nonalcoholic beverages, including such brands as Royal Mistic, Elliott's Amazing Juices, Crystal Geyser, Deer Park, Tetley and Boku, according to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The company had $22.8 million in sales last year and a net loss of $225,000, the prospectus said. In the first six months of this year, it had sales of $12.6 million and net income of $72,000.

The common shares are expected to trade on Nasdaq's Small Cap Market under the symbol ABEV.

Atlantic expects to sell 1 million shares for between $8 and $10 a share, according to the prospectus. An additional $150,000 may be raised if an over-allotment option is exercised. No date has been set for the sale.

The company, which is located on Sulfur Spring Road in Arbutus, employs about 90 workers, according to John F. Izzo, controller.

The company will continue to do business as Maryland Beverage, he said.

About $3.4 million of the money raised will be used to repay debt and other obligations to the company's stockholders and affiliates. The rest of the money will be used for working capital and other general purposes, including possible expansion, the prospectus said.

T. Rowe Price Strategic Partners Fund L.P., part of the Baltimore-based mutual funds company, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., is the largest shareholder, with 25 percent of the stock. After the public offering, T. Rowe would hold 15 percent.

Douglas L. Becker, chairman of the company, owns 7.4 percent of the company's stock. That would be reduced to 4.4 percent after the sale.

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