Levi Strauss & Co. officially made its return to the stock market today, with the price of its shares surging over 30 percent when trading opened in New York. The American denim brand had announced the pricing of the initial public offering of 36,666,667 shares at 17 dollars per share, however they traded this morning at 22.22 dollars per share. This values the company at 8.7 billion dollars.

The 166-year-old company makes its return to the stock market after remaining privately owned for the past 34 years. Levi’s had first gone public in 1971, until it was taken private by the descendants of founder Levi Strauss, the Haas family, 14 years later. The family had bought out the brand for 1.6 billion dollars. The Haas family will maintain 80 percent of Levi Strauss & Co.

The brand made its return to the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LEVI.” Its decision to go public stemmed from rapid changes in consumer tastes, according to retail analysts. In its SEC filing, Levi Strauss & Co. said that it sees public offering as an opportunity to expand its presence in emerging markets.

 

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