Maidenform Plans Initial Public Offering

Maidenform Brands plans to sell 10 million shares of company stock in an initial public offering that could raise up to $160 million.

NEW YORK — Innerwear manufacturer Maidenform Brands Inc. is making good on its April promise: It plans to sell 10 million shares of company stock in an initial public offering that could raise up to $160 million.

According to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, the Bayonne, N.J.-based firm estimated the price per share will be between $14 and $16, with existing shareholders selling 6.6 million shares. Its underwriters — UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston and Goldman Sachs & Co. — have the option to buy another 1.5 million shares. Based on the high end of the estimated pricing range, the IPO could generate up to $160 million.

The firm is expected to trade under the ticker symbol MFB.

The company, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in July 1999, told the SEC in April that it would file for an IPO, but at the time didn’t disclose its terms. The bankruptcy was necessitated from an overleveraged balance sheet and poor operational performance.

According to Monday’s filing with the SEC, Maidenform said it intended to use the net proceeds it will receive from the IPO to redeem all outstanding shares of its preferred stock, outstanding options to purchase its preferred stock, as well as pay fees and expenses. “If, as is likely, the net proceeds are not sufficient to fund these uses in full, we intend to draw upon our available cash or our revolving credit facility to fund these uses,” the company said in its filing.

In May 2004, the majority of Maidenform’s common stock was purchased by Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund LP, a private equity fund sponsored by Ares Management, a Los Angeles-based investment firm.

Maidenform said it is a different entity than it was prior to 2001. “We have repositioned ourselves as a marketer, rather than a manufacturer, of intimate apparel by increasing the percentage of sourced goods from 40 percent in fiscal 2001 to 84 percent in fiscal 2004,” it said in the filing.

Maidenform lists as its recent successes the introduction of the Maidenform One Fabulous Fit bra in 2002 and the launch of a modern interpretation of the “I Dreamed … ” campaign in 2003.

This story first appeared in the July 12, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.