Dolby Offers IPO

On February 17, 2005, at the sound of the opening bell done in surround, no less Dolby Laboratories' stock made its financial debut on the New York Stock
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Representatives of Dolby (including Ray Dolby, fifth from left) and from NYSE

On February 17, 2005, at the sound of the opening bell — done in surround, no less — Dolby Laboratories' stock made its financial debut on the New York Stock Exchange: 14,625,000 shares of Class-A common stock at $18 a share. Of the total shares sold, 10.5 million shares have been sold by Dolby Laboratories and 17 million shares sold by Ray Dolby, founder and principal stockholder of Dolby Laboratories. Dolby Laboratories granted an option to purchase up to an additional 4,125,000 shares at the initial public offering price within 30 days to cover over-allotments. Net proceeds to Dolby Labs was $247,455,000.

Ray Dolby in front of the NYSE building on Dolby’s opening day

Wanting to make an audible splash on the main trading floor, the opening bell rang in a dramatic, random surround sound pattern, while the closing bell was a special 5.1 remix created by Dolby engineers, which incorporated the traditional bell sound with added percussion and effects. Additionally, the television feed of the opening and closing bells was delivered to news stations with Dolby Pro Logic II audio.