CEO Chip Bergh rings the opening bell on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the company's IPO in New York, U.S., March 21, 2019.
The company's stock will start trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "LEVI".
Levi's seems to have successfully convinced investors, at least for now, that it has a lot of opportunities to expand beyond just jeans, from tops to bolstering its women's business.
The San Francisco, California-based company late Wednesday priced its IPO at $17 per share, higher than the $14 to $16 range Levi Strauss and its bankers had suggested earlier this month.
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Levi Strauss shares surge on stock market debut
For the year ended November 2018, Levi's reported sales of $5.58 billion, a 13.7 percent jump year-on-year. Levi's is looking at further expansion by opening new stores and broadening wholesale relationships.
The Haas family, the descendants of Levi Strauss, will sell a small chunk of their shares and will continue to control the company. This is the second time the clothing company has launched an initial public offering (IPO), the first time being 1971.
Ride-hailing firm Lyft will make its long-anticipated debut on the Nasdaq next week, while investors arewatching closely for announcements from other top startups like Uber and Pinterest. It also is expanding its retail stores. It offered 9,460,557 shares of Class A common stock, while selling stockholders were offering 27,206,110 of Class A common stock.
Levi's reported its revenue was $5.6 billion in 2018, an increase of 14%, most of that coming from men's denim. Its biggest market is the Americas, accounting for 55 percent of overall revenue. In its prospectus, the company says it plans to use the proceeds from the public offering to expand more aggressively into China, India and Brazil and also build out more retail stores, which as of late a year ago totalled 824.
The company said it wants to shift away from being only a jeans company and is planning to grow its tailor shop and print bar, which allows consumers to customize Levi's jeans and t-shirts.