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June 1, 2010 3:38 PM

Wilmer Grabs Wheel for Zipcar IPO

Posted by Brian Baxter

Zipcar, the popular car-sharing service for city slickers, revealed in an SEC filing on Tuesday its plan to raise $75 million through an IPO.

Reuters reports the company, founded a decade ago, has been so successful that rental car companies like Hertz and Enterprise have launched rival car-sharing services. Despite its success, Zipcar has posted losses in every year since it was founded, stating in its latest SEC filing that it expects those losses to continue through 2010. As a result, Reuters notes that the need for new capital is more pressing than ever.

John Chory, the chair of the venture group at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in suburban Boston, is advising Zipcar on the offering along with corporate partner Susan Mazur. (Chory did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

According to Zipcar's S-1 filing with the SEC, legal costs associated with the planned offering are not yet available. But the choice of Wilmer to represent the Cambridge, Mass.-based company on its IPO is little surprise. The firm previously advised one of Zipcar's venture capital backers, Greylock Partners, on corporate matters, as well as representing Zipcar in litigation brought by a former employee. Also, Zipcar's general counsel, Maria Stahl, previously spent seven years as an associate and junior partner at Wilmer.

Ropes & Gray corporate partner Keith Higgins in Boston is representing underwriters on the IPO led by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

Last week that well-known purveyor of toy cars, Toys "R" Us, announced an offering for $800 million in shares. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett picked up the work for Toys through its long-standing ties to the company.

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