On March 21, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was full of traders wearing denim jackets and blue jeans. No, it wasn’t casual Friday (in fact, it was a Thursday). The occasion for breaking their strict dress code? Levi Strauss, the iconic jeans maker, was going public after a 30-year hiatus from the markets.
In a season of roller coaster initial public offerings (IPOs) for upstarts, like Lyft and Uber, the 165 year-old brand had a more streamlined debut. Levi Strauss shares soared 30% in the first day of trading, increasing from $17 to more than $22 per share.
(The company’s bankers had initially advised Levi to price its shares even lower, between $14 and $16, apparently underestimating Wall Street’s demand.) The company’s valuation surged from $6.6 billion to $8.7 billion as a result.
In all, the company offered 36.7 million shares , raising $623.3 million, in the offering. Fittingly, it is trading under the ticker symbol “LEVI.” As of mid-June 2019 , the share price was at $21.49 with a market capitalization of $8.4 billion.
The Levi’s brand has stood the test of time (who doesn’t love a pair of 501 jeans?). Here’s a bit of background about this company’s colorful history and why it went public, then private—then public again.Read more