Pool Company Leslie’s Rises 28% After IPO Raises $680 Million


Leslie’s Inc., a provider of pool and spa care, rose 28% in its trading debut after pricing its initial public offering above a marketed range.

Leslie’s and its investors sold 40 million shares Wednesday for $17 each after marketing them for $14 to $16. The shares closed Thursday at $21.70, giving the company a market value of about $4.05 billion

Leslie’s sold 30 million shares in the IPO, with existing stockholders selling 10 million. L Catterton and GIC Pte control most of the company’s voting rights.

Mike Egeck, chief executive officer of Phoenix-based Leslie’s, said the company has been investing in talent and technology under L Catterton’s sponsorship.

Some other private equity-backed companies haven’t faired as well after going public. That includes companies such as Albertsons Cos., which has fallen 5.3% since Cerberus Capital Management took it public in June in an $800 million listing.

“The pool industry is very different, very advantaged,” Egeck said. “You just don’t often find a company with dominant market share like we have. No real competition of scale and still have the opportunity for lots of growth.”

Leslie’s has increased through the coronavirus pandemic. The company had net income of $17 million on sales of $731 million for the nine months ended June 27. That compared with a loss of $78,000 on $630 million in revenue for the comparable period a year earlier.

Leslie’s has grown during each of its 57 years in business, Egeck said.

Recession, Pandemic

“When you think about what the company has been through -- the ‘90s recession, the dot-com bust, the great recession, now a pandemic, we’re really built for the long run,” he said.

The offering by Leslie’s was led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. The shares are trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol LESL.

Two mortgage originators, Caliber Home Loans Inc. and AmeriHome Inc., both postponed IPOs that had also been set for Wednesday, at least partly because of stock market volatility induced by the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe as well as the U.S.

Software company Mavenir Plc also postponed its IPO, which had been set for Wednesday.

In a further test of the U.S. market, Chinese financial technology firm Lufax Holding Ltd., backed by Ping An Insurance Group Co., is set to price its IPO later Thursday with a goal of raising as much as $2.36 billion.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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