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Levi Strauss valued at $6.6 billion as IPO prices above target

Reuters logo Reuters 3/20/2019 By Joshua Franklin and Uday Sampath Kumar
a close up of some shoes: Jeans trousers are displayed at a Levi Strauss store in New York© Reuters/SHANNON STAPLETON Jeans trousers are displayed at a Levi Strauss store in New York

Levi Strauss & Co said it sold $623.3 million in shares in its initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday, as the U.S. jeans maker looks to return to the stock market after 34 years as a family-owned company.

With the stock market hovering near all-time highs, Levi priced its IPO at $17 share, just above its target range of $14 to $16, valuing the company at about $6.6 billion. 

Levi Strauss is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker "LEVI".

The success of the IPO underscores the diverging fortunes of retail companies. Tens of thousands of brick-and-mortar stores have closed in the last few years under pressure from e-commerce firms such as Amazon.com Inc, but vendors with consistently popular offerings such as Levi have flourished, as they reach more shoppers through online channels.

In the IPO, $462.4 million worth of stock was sold by existing stockholders and the company sold $160.9 million in shares.

Levi is setting the stage for a bumper year for IPOs that will also feature the likes of ride-hailing startups Lyft Inc and Uber Technologies Inc later this year.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank Of America and Morgan Stanley are among the main underwriters of the IPO.

Related video: 5 questions with the CEO of Levi's (provided by Fortune)

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