The New York Stock Exchange has gone casual — at least for the day.
Levi Strauss & Co.’s IPO started off strong — pricing above its initial price of $14 to $16 to score $17 a share and a total valuation of $6.6 billion — but that was just the beginning.
The stock shot up 33.4 percent to $22.67 once it hit the open markets in morning trading Thursday, giving it a valuation of $8.7 billion.
The exchange relaxed its strict no-jeans policy for the day and the more than 300 traders on the floor of the exchange came clad head-to-toe in Levi’s denim.
Levi’s raised $160.9 million in the offering while selling shareholders — mostly members of the Haas family who are descendants of founder Levi Strauss— raised $462.4 million. The Haas’ continue to control the company by virtue of their Class B super voting shares.
Chip Bergh, who has been chief executive of the company since 2011, has lead it to a remarkable turnaround, growing the brand’s core jeans business while expanding the women’s and tops businesses and building out the Levi’s stores network and international presence.
Sales last year rose 13 percent to $5.6 billion.