American jeans manufacturer Levi Strauss has made a comeback on Wall Street after 34 years. And it has done so with success: the initial price of 17 dollars was already higher than what the merchant banks were aiming for, and it immediately made a sharp increase of more than 30%.
Market share price: 6.6 billion dollars
An unusual sight on Wall Street: although jeans are officially banned, a remarkable amount of them were spotted at the stock exchange. The reason for that was the successful comeback of Levi Strauss to the New York stock market. The jeans manufacturer was quoted from 1971 to 1985 until it was removed from the stock market by the estate of its founder, the Jewish German immigrant Oskar Levi Strauss.
Today, the company belongs to the Haas family, which will remain in charge now that the company is back on the stock market. The family is putting 27.2 million shares on the market and the company is adding another 9.4 million: together, that brings in a revenue of 623 million dollars (550 million euros) and a total market share price of 6.6 billion dollars. The money raised by the listing will be used for general company ends, including acquisitions and strategic investments.
The degree of demand and enthusiasm is made clear by the fact that Levi Strauss made its initial public offering at 17 dollars per share, more than the 14 to 16 dollars envisaged by the merchant banks. The share has also performed above expectations: as soon as it was launched, it immediately rose 30% higher, reaching 22.22 dollars.
Levi Strauss & Co has now existed for 145 years and is available in 110 countries around the world in about 50,000 stores (including 2,900 company stores). The jeans company also manufactures Dockers and Denizen and generated a turnover of 5.6 billion dollars (about 4.9 billion euros) last year, which is 14% more than the previous financial year.