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Flash storage firm Violin Memory to raise $180 million in IPO

(Reuters) - Flash storage provider Violin Memory, backed by Toshiba Corp, expects to raise as much as $180 million from its initial public offering of 18 million shares.

Violin, which has been planning an IPO since 2011, said the offering was expected to be priced between $8 and $10 a share, valuing it at more than $800 million.

Toshiba's holding in the company will fall to 11 percent from 14 percent after the offering.

Demand for flash memory storage products have surged with the popularity of smartphones and tablets as they are typically much faster than traditional hard disk drives. The industry has also received funding from investment firms.

Pure Storage, which competes with EMC Corp, said last month that it had raised $150 million from investors, valuing it at more than $1 billion.

Santa Clara, California-based Violin said in a filing that net proceeds from the offering would be used for working capital purposes and repaying debt.

JP Morgan, Deutsche bank Securities and BofA Merrill Lynch are the lead underwriters to the IPO.

The company's net loss widened to $109.1 million in fiscal year ended January 31 from $44.8 million, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $73.8 million during the same period.

(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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