Aritzia

Canada-based retailer Aritzia Inc. priced its 400 million Canadian dollar, or $303 million, initial public offering at 16 Canadian dollars, or $12.10, at the high-end of the planned range of 14-16 Canadian dollars.

The stock popped over 16 percent in its first day of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and closed at $17.71 Canadian dollars, or $13.50. It was a 6 percent drop from the opening price of $18.95 Canadian dollars, but still higher from where it was initially priced. The company founder Brian Hill and Boston private equity firm Berkshire Partners sold 25 million shares in the offering. Banks have an option to sell another 15 percent in additional shares, which would bring the total capital raised to 460 Canadian dollars. The symbol is ATZ.

“This IPO is an important milestone for Aritzia and is a testament to the continued dedication and passion of our people and the loyalty of our customers. As we look forward to this next chapter, we remain committed to delighting our customers with beautifully designed products, an aspirational shopping experience and exceptional customer service.” Said Hill, who is also chairman and chief executive officer.

Part of the proceeds will be used for store expansion. The chain has 75 locations in Canada and the U.S. The company has identified 125 additional store locations in the U.S., and by the end of fiscal 2021, plans to add a minimum of 25 to 30 stores. Aritzia has never closed a store in its 32-year history.

The comparable-store sales in fiscal year 2016 increased 16.7 percent and net revenue has grown by 20.6 percent compounded annual growth rate. Adjusted net income for fiscal year 2016 40 million Canadian dollars, or $30.4 million.

What’s unique about this offering is that the new shareholders have limited voting rights. Hill and Berkshire retain 41 percent and 55.6 percent of the voting power, respectively, and maintain control of the company.

Aritzia’s customer is women between the age of 15-45 with a focus on affordable luxury and fast fashion. The company was founded in 1984 by the Hill family in Vancouver and opened its first store in the U.S. in 2007. Berkshire Partners purchased a majority stake in 2005.

The board includes former Lululemon Inc. chief financial officer John Currie and former Urban Outfitters Inc. chief executive officer Glen Senk.

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