Levi Strauss worth $6.5bn in stock market return

Levi's Image copyright Reuters

Levi Strauss will be worth about $6.5bn (£5bn) when the denim-maker rejoins the stock market after 34 years away.

Shares in the inventor of the blue jean have been priced at $17 each, just above the target range of $14-16.

Levi’s has sold $623m worth of shares to institutional investors before allowing the public to buy stock in the 166-year old company on Thursday.

The Haas family, descendants of the founder Levi Strauss, have sold shares worth around $357m.

The company will be listed under the symbol LEVI on the New York Stock Exchange and the stock has been priced at the top end of a $14 to $16 range.

Levi’s wants to continue to grow the company from men’s jeans to more products for women as well as expanding its tops business.

The firm also said: “We believe we have a significant opportunity to deepen our presence in key emerging markets, such as China, India and Brazil, to drive long-term growth.”

Jeans have regained their popularity in recent years after the “althleisure” trend when people opted to wear jogging bottoms and leggings instead of denim.

In 2017-18, global sales of jeans expanded by 4.3%, according to Euromonitor International, a market research provider.

In the US, after four years of falling demand, sales rose by 2.2%.

Founder Levi Strauss moved to San Francisco in 1853 during the California gold rush, opening a dry goods business. But he struck gold when in 1873 he and a partner received a patent on using rivets to make clothes – which increased their durability.

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