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    Susser IPO Trading Above Expectations

    IPO raises $107 million on 6.5 million shares, higher than what the company announced in July.

    NEW YORK -- Susser Holdings Corp., operator of Circle K convenience stores, debuted its initial public offering (IPO) for 6.5 million shares at a price of $16.50 per share under the Nasdaq symbol "SUSS." The price range fell within the $16 to $18 price range forecasted by the company, Reuters reported. By midday yesterday, the price of the shares rose 6 percent to $17.50. It closed its opening day at a high of $18, a gain of 9.09 percent.

    The IPO raised $107 million and the shares represent 42 percent of the company. When terms were originally announced on July 20, Susser expected to raise $93.3 million through the IPO. The offering was increased half a million shares from the initial 6 million, giving the company an initial market capitalization of $253 million, Reuters reported.

    Net proceeds from the IPO will go to repay debt and other general corporate purposes. Underwriters, including Merill Lynch & Co., will have an option to buy 975,000 shares of common stock at the IPO price to cover over-allotments, if any. The offering is expected to close on Oct. 24, 2006, the company reported.

    The Corpus Christi, Texas-based company operates 320 convenience stores in Texas and Oklahoma. In addition to selling convenience items like food, drinks, snacks and gas, 137 of the stores include an in-store restaurant called Laredo Taco Co. Susser also serves as a wholesale distributor of motor fuel to its own stores and other customers and is in the process of rebranding all of its convenience stores to the proprietary Stripes brand.

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