A firm that provides employer-sponsored childcare and other family services held its initial public offering (IPO) this morning, with shares priced above the expected range of $19 to $21. Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc. (NYSE: BFAM) priced 10.1 million shares at $22. Underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to 1.515 million additional shares.
Lead underwriters on the offering were Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Barclays Capital. Bright Horizons is controlled by Bain Capital, which will continue to hold an 80% stake in the firm.
Proceeds from the IPO will be used to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes.
Bright Horizons is the largest company of its kind, and now the only publicly traded company in the employer-paid child care sector. At $22 the shares are priced at about 60 times pro forma earnings, making them a bit rich. But the business does not require a lot of working capital because employers fund the daycare centers, and because Bright Horizons is a primarily a service business, it generates positive nice cash flow.
Shares are up nearly 28% at $28.12 in mid-morning trading.