NYSE COOL TO BRYLANE IPO

NEW YORK — Brylane Inc., the latest catalog retailer to go public, had a humdrum first day of trading on Friday.
Brylane, which went public Thursday night through the sale of four million shares at $24 each, saw its first trade Friday at 24 1/4 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday. The stock inched up to 24 1/2 during the day, but finished at 24.
The issue was priced at the low end of the expected $24-to-$26 a share range. The catalog retailer pulled in $96 million before underwriting costs from the offering.
Brylane was established in 1993 as a joint venture between certain affiliates of Freeman, Spoli & Co. and The Limited Inc. Freeman will retain a 43.5 percent stake in Brylane, and Limited will hold 25.7 percent.
Brylane operates several women’s apparel catalogs, including Lerner, Lane Bryant, Roaman’s, Sue Brett, KingSize and Chadwick’s of Boston, which was acquired in December 1996 from TJX Cos. Brylane now has 19,471,445 shares outstanding.
The company also granted underwriters an additional 600,000 shares to cover overallotments. The deal was underwritten by Merrill Lynch & Co., Lazard Freres & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan & Co.
Two catalog firms that have recently gone public have fared well in the market.
In December, Delia’s Inc., a direct marketer of casual apparel and accessories for girls and young women, offered two million shares of common stock priced at $11 a share, which quickly rose to 14 3/4 in its first day of trading. Delia’s closed Friday at 16 7/8, up 1/4 in over-the-counter trading.
Coldwater Creek Inc., a women’s and men’s apparel, jewelry and gift catalog, tapped the public market through an offering of 2.5 million shares in January at $15. On its first day of trading, Coldwater opened at 15 7/8 and ended at 16 7/8.
In over-the-counter trading Friday, Coldwater finished at 18 1/2 up 1/2.

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