Academy Sports + Outdoors Begins Trading, IPO Priced Below Expected Range

Academy Sports and Outdoors Inc. is now publicly trading.

The Texas-based sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer announced today that it is offering more than 15.6 million shares at $13. It is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “ASO,” and the offering is expected to close on Oct. 6.

When it announced that it would go public, Academy had set its initial public offering range at $15 to $17 each share. It expected proceeds of approximately $225 million if shares were priced at the midpoint of $16.

According to the company, net proceeds will now be about $182.8 million after it deducts underwriting discounts and commissions, as well as estimated offering expenses. It intends to use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, which could include repayment of certain indebtedness.

With the IPO, Academy has given the underwriters — including Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, KKR Capital Markets and BofA Securities — a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2.34 million shares to cover any over-allotments.

The offering comes at a challenging time for the retail industry, which has been beleaguered with widespread bankruptcies and permanent store closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For the six months ended Aug. 1, Academy reported profits of $157.7 million and revenues of $2.74 billion, compared with the prior year period’s income of $73.8 million and sales of $2.31 billion.

In a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company estimated that it served 30 million customers and brought in sales of $4.8 billion for the 2019 fiscal year. It was originally founded in 1938 as a family business and has since expanded to 259 stores across 16 states, primarily in the southern United States.

“We believe that we have a best-in-class value offering with localized merchandising and marketing, and a new store opening and growth strategy that sets us apart from our competitors,” chairman, president and CEO Ken Hicks wrote in the filing. Hicks, the former Foot Locker chief, added: “We have proven that we are much more than a sporting goods store, as we are sought out for our extensive assortment and value by our customers, in all seasons and situations.”

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