Company says market instability would have hurt it.

Responding to the current economic strife, Fluidigm has decided to withdraw its registration statement for the IPO of its shares of common stock.

Fluidigm initially filed its S1 in April and received final approval from the SEC on September, says Howard High, a Fluidigm spokesperson. While he agrees that the markets weren’t completely calm even in April or September, High points out that they weren’t bad. “Also, I think it is reasonable to look at our segment of the life sciences market this year. The life sciences segment of the market has been doing much better that the market in general (this year).

“Even with the government taking control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the weekend, the first week of meetings went really well—good investors, good questions, good interest. But when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and Merrill Lynch was bought by BofA the following weekend, the market started becoming distracted.

“We were very close to completing the IPO on Thursday and thought the market might settle enough for us to finish if we just rode out the weekend or a few days of the following week. Then the $700 billion number was floated and distractions for The Street became unreal. The market continued to whipsaw and there was no consistency day-to-day or even hour-to-hour. We couldn’t see a time in the foreseeable future when things would calm down.

Not wanting to have to operate under the rules and regulations of having an active SEC registration, Fluidigm decided to pull its S1 registration. “Between the negotiations for the financial bailout package, the pending U.S. presidential election, and the anticipation that things are always a bit in flux during that time when a new administration is coming into the White House and the old one is leaving, we didn’t think there was going to be a good opportunity to try again before the end of the year.”

High points out that the business is doing well: first half 2008 revenues roughly matched full year revenues in 2007, and the trend is expected to continue when Q3 results are finalized. As of June 28, Fluidigm had over $30 million in cash and cash equivalents. “We have been attracting many new customers, and our current customers seem to be very happy and successful using our technology,” High assures. “And we have many new products and technologies ready to bring to the marketplace.
“We came so very close to successfully completing our IPO in what many have said is the most turbulent financial market in decades (possibly ever). So with a stabilized market and a continually stronger Fluidigm story, we are confident that we will have a successfully completed IPO in our future.”

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