By  on July 25, 2005

NEW YORK — In its debut as a public stock on Friday, Maidenform Brands Inc. closed its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange higher than its opening price.

Shares of the innerwear firm priced at $17 on Thursday night, higher than the expected price of between $14 and $16 a share. The company planned an initial public offering of 10 million shares, but on Thursday increased the amount to almost 12.8 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At $17 a share, with nearly 12.8 million shares issued, Maidenform raised at least $217 million in its IPO.

Shares of Maidenform, which trades under the ticker symbol of “MFB,” opened at $19.54 and rose as high as $20.74 in intraday trading before closing Friday’s session at $19.85. Trading volume was 9.5 million.

UBS Investment Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston managed the booking of the offering, while Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as a co-lead manager.

Maidenform is the fifth in a recent spate of companies in the apparel and retail industries that have gone public. All have been well received by investors.

The most successful IPO in this wave so far has been Zumiez Inc., a teen extreme sports retailer that has returned a gain of more than 80 percent. A competitor in the active sports and teen apparel arena is Volcom, which has posted a 50 percent gain so far.

The other two retail IPOs, also considered successful, are footwear retailer DSW and discount urban retailer Citi Trends Inc.

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