Levi Strauss IPO Eyes $6.2B Valuation

Initial Public Offering

In the land of tech-heavy IPOs and newly minted Silicon Valley millionaires, might the stars align for a marquee name in … jeans?

As reported Monday (March 11), Levi Strauss & Co. has said it seeks to raise roughly $587 million through an upcoming initial public offering. That tally would value the company at up to $6.2 billion. The IPO would also, as Reuters said Monday, mark a return to the public market after a three-decade absence.

Among the underwriters are Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

In the mechanics of the sale, the company would offer as many as 36.7 million shares, at between $14 to $16. The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the funds raised would be used for future acquisitions, but added that no immediate deals are planned.

The debut (again) of the 165-year-old company would be a bit of departure, we note, from companies bowing or set to bow on public markets such as Pinterest and Uber, which trace their genesis back over only a few years.

Other uses of the funding would include working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditures. According to the filing, the company sees the opportunity to expand its presence in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.

The newswire noted that the IPO would bow as companies with denim in their portfolios are seeing high demand, marked by styles such as pinstriped jeans. Levi’s own total net top line came in at $5.6 billion in 2018, and in terms of broader strategy — beyond current offerings spanning belts, wallets, denim and footwear — looks to be a “global lifestyle” brand.

The shares would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker LEVI. Levi Strauss first went public in 1971 and then descendants of the founder’s family took the company private 14 years later.



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