IPO Values Fairway Market At $536M

Target: Fairway Market

Price: $536 million

Sponsor: Sterling Investment Partners

Financial Advisers: Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies, William Blair

High-end grocery store chain Fairway Market priced its initial public offering of 13.7 million Class A shares at $13 each, above its expected range, a person familiar with the matter told sister news service Reuters.

The grocer, which raised $178.1 million from the offering, had expected to price the IPO at $10 to $12 per share. The IPO price of $13 per share gives the company a market capitalization of $536 million. The shares are to trade on the Nasdaq on Wednesday under the symbol “FWM”.

Fairway, which traces its origins to a fruit and vegetable stand in New York City in the 1930s, has since expanded into New Jersey and Connecticut. The company, majority-owned by private equity firm Sterling Investment Partners, said in August that it had confidentially filed for an IPO. While the company is offering 13.3 million share, its selling shareholders are offering the rest.

The New York-based company’s IPO follows in the footsteps of successful public offerings for peers such as Whole Foods Market Inc. and Fresh Market Inc last year. The company expects to report fourth-quarter total net sales of between $175 million and $178 million, compared with $150 million a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing.

Private equity-backed companies have been quick to list shares as U.S. stock markets reached record highs, boosting U.S. IPO volumes by about 65 percent in the first quarter.

Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies and William Blair were underwriters for the IPO.