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Minneapolis software company Jamf is reportedly preparing for an initial public stock offering.

Bloomberg News reported that Jamf has filed confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO that would value the company at $3 billion.

Jamf specializes in software that makes Apple Inc. devices work together across all parts of a business enterprise.

The Bloomberg report did not say how much Jamf would seek in an offering or when one would take place. Officials at the 18-year-old company declined to comment about a potential offering.

In November 2018, Vista Equity Partners, an investment firm with offices in Austin, Texas, Chicago, New York City, Oakland, Calif., and San Francisco, acquired a majority stake in Jamf. Since then, Jamf has made three acquisitions, including two last year.

In February, Jamf acquired ZuluDesk, a Dutch-based provider of Apple products to the education market, and in August it acquired Digita Security, a five-person firm that provides security products on the Apple platform. Terms of both deals were not disclosed.

Registering for an IPO is not a guarantee a company will complete the offering and become public. But if Jamf does complete an IPO, it would be the first Minnesota-based company to do so on a major U.S. exchange since Golden Valley-based Inspire Medical raised $124 million from its offering on May 3, 2018.

Jamf's apparent strategy of using the confidential IPO process is becoming more common.

Once a process for emerging growth companies, the confidential IPO process was expanded by the SEC in 2017 to all companies.

The process allows companies to let regulators review the IPO documents and make changes before being filed publicly.

Ryan Brauer — a partner and shareholder in the Minneapolis-based Fredrikson & Byron, which has represented companies through the IPO process but not Jamf — said it is now the norm for companies to use the SEC's confidential-reporting process for a registration statement.

An initial-registration filing, called an S-1, contains financial and strategic information about private companies. A company often makes a number of amended filings of its S-1 document with the SEC before shares start being listed for trading.

Companies will still have to make public the registration statement and any comments they received from the SEC. "It gives companies the ability to navigate a portion of the SEC process with less public scrutiny of the IPO process," Brauer said.

Under the confidential IPO process, a company must make its registration public at least 15 days before conducting a "roadshow," when the company makes presentations to potential investors.

The confidential process is meant to produce cleaner documents for potential investors, increase activity in IPOs and make the process quicker. "It hasn't taken away any of the continuing compliance costs of being a public company," Brauer noted.

According to Renaissance Capital, which tracks IPO activity, in 2019 there were 160 U.S. IPOs that raised $46.3 billion, down from 192 filings in 2018 that raised $46.9 billion. In 2017, 160 U.S. IPOs raised $35.5 billion.

Patrick Kennedy 612-673-7926 @PKennedyStrib