Smart & Final IPO Raises Over $161 Million
COMMERCE, CA - Smart & Final Stores Inc. is about $161.4 million richer today after a successful IPO launch which saw over 3 million shares change hands during Wednesday trading. According to Reuters, Smart & Final fixed the price for its offering at $12/share. This was the low end of the $12-$14 expected price range for the retailer's stock.
Smart & Final shares opened at $13.10, rising to a high of $13.39 during a session in which it was the most heavily traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange. According to Reuters, this pricing level placed the valuation for the company at $951.4 million. The stock closed at $12.01/share, according to the New York Times.
Smart & Final has announced that it plans to use the funds raised during its IPO to finance general corporate costs and to pay down debts, which ballooned to $703.3 million as of June 15, 2014, up from $304.1 million in November 2012.
Doing this will strengthen Smart & Final's market position, according to Moody's Investor Services. According to the New York Times, Moody's main criticism of the company stemmed from Smart & Final's poor credit standing. Apart from this, Moody complemented the retailer for its continued “ability to compete effectively and maintain margins in a tough economic and competitive business environment.”
Smart and Final is owned by Ares Management. Reuters reports that in the wake of the IPO, Ares Management's ownership stake in Smart & Final could drop to about 74.7% from 95.6% if the underwriters exercise their full option to buy additional shares.
The retailer runs 250 stores in the western United States, between its Smart & Final and Cash & Carry lines.
Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for future updates on Smart & Final and the North American retail industry.