Levi's made a strong debut on the NYSE after the shares surged nearly 32%, following the jeans maker's return to the stock market after more than three decades.
Pricing its shares above expectations at $17 apiece, just above the expected target range of $14 to $16, Levi’s initial public offering seems to be well-received by the investors who demonstrated a strong willingness to own a part of the jeans giant.
Valuing the company at about $6.6 billion for the IPO, it helped the company raise ~$623 million through the sale of 36.7 million shares on the 1st day of IPO.
According to the company, a lion's share of the proceeds - nearly $462.5 million - would go to existing shareholders including descendants of the company’s founder Levi Strauss. It plans to use the rest for general corporate purposes including potential acquisitions.
The success of the IPO seems to come at the right time, as retail companies across the globe have faced difficult times over the last few years. The IPO is surely great news for the jeans apparel industry, which has grown at just 3.5% CAGR over the last 10 years - slower than the entire apparel category.
The 166-year-old company, which claims to have invented blue jeans in the 19th century and is named after the man who founded it in 1853, returned to the stock market on Thursday after it was taken private by the family in a $1.7 billion leveraged buyout in 1985, following its 1st IPO in 1971.