Container Store IPO gets investor interest


NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of The Container Store more than doubled in their market debut on Friday.

The stock jumped $18.08, to $36.08 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, after earlier trading as high as $36.15. Trading activity was heavy, with nearly 10 million shares changing hands.

The retailer, which specializes in shelving, storage bins, boxes and related organizational items, priced its initial public offering of 12.5 million shares at $18 apiece. This was above the projected price range of $14 to $16 per share.

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Container Store Group Inc. raised $225 million in the IPO.

It is giving underwriters the option to buy up to nearly 1.9 million additional shares.

The Dallas company said that it plans to spend proceeds on paying preferred dividends to its private equity firm backer, Leonard Green & Partners, as well as current and former employees and repaying debt. Leonard Green will own nearly 61 percent of its shares after the IPO.

The Container Store has 62 stores nationwide that sell organization and storage products. It also owns Elfa, a Swedish maker of storage system parts that are sold in its stores and elsewhere.

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The Container Store is unprofitable, but its revenue is growing again after taking a hit during the recession. Sales have increased 28 percent over the past five fiscal years. Sales came to $706.8 million in Container Store’s most recent fiscal year, which ended March 2.

Shares are trading under the “TCS” ticker symbol.