The Container Store IPO Doubles out of the Gate!

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The Container Store Group Inc. (NYSE: TCS) retails home storage and organization products under the Elfa brand, and the company’s initial public offering (IPO) Friday morning has caused an uproar on the Street. Shares were offered at $18 and have doubled in the first half-hour of trading.

The company sold 12.5 million shares at a price above its initial range of $14 to $16. The offering’s underwriters were granted an option on an additional 1.875 million shares, bringing the total number of shares outstanding after the IPO to nearly 48 million, if the options are exercised.

Net proceeds are likely to total around $237 million, and the company plans to use the proceeds to make a distribution to 140 holders of the company’s 12% Senior Cumulative Preferred Stock, which includes 130 current or former employees and private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners. According to the company’s amended S-1 filing, this distribution “will reduce the liquidation preference of such shares until such liquidation preference is reduced to $1,000 per a share.” A further use of the proceeds is to make a similar distribution to holders of the company’s 12% Junior Cumulative Preferred Stock. Any remaining proceeds will be used to pay down existing debt.

Following the IPO and a stock split of 5.9 to 1 on previously outstanding shares, Leonard Green & Partners together with certain members of management will own 66.6% of the company’s outstanding common stock, and The Container Store will be a “controlled” company.

Controlled or not, the stock traded at $35.06 about an hour after opening on Friday, up 95%. The stock hit a high of $36.15 shortly after opening.