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Levi Strauss is planning to go public

By Prachi Singh

15 Nov 2018

Levi Strauss & Co. with a valuation of 5 billion dollars, is contemplating floating an IPO in the first quarter of 2019, with an aim of raising 600 to 800 million dollars, reports CNBC quoting people familiar with the development. The report added that the 145-year-old company, inventor of first pair of blue jeans, has roped in Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to manage the said transaction. Levi's is currently run by chief executive officer and president Chip Bergh, who has been holding the positions since 2011.

Levi's current owners include descendants of the family of Levi Strauss, while the company's Japanese affiliate, Levi Strauss K.K. is publicly traded in Tokyo, and Levi's bonds are also publicly traded. However, this is not for the first time that the company is planning an IPO. Levi's had earlier gone public in 1971 and had raised around 50 million dollars that time. But following dwindling profit and stock price, Levi Strauss became private in a 1.7 billion dollars leveraged buyout in 1984, adds CNBC. In 1996, the company bought out stock held by its employees and outside investors.

Levi's plans to float an IPO

In its October update for the third quarter ended August 26, 2018, Levi Strauss & Co. reported a 10 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago, while net income increased 45 percent to 130 million dollars. CNBC added quoting filing by the company that during 2017, Levi's revenue reached 5 billion dollars and the company has managed to reduce its debt in half over the last two years.

According to the Levi Strauss website, The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's, Dockers, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co., and Denizen brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 2,900 retail stores and shop-in-shops.