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Academy Sports + Outdoors Is Going Public

Academy Sports and Outdoors Inc. is going public.

The Texas-based sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer announced today that it has set its initial public offering range at $15 to $17 each share. It plans to sell 15.625 million shares of its common stock, which will be listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “ASO.”

With the IPO, Academy expects to grant the underwriters — including Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, KKR Capital Markets and BofA Securities — a 30-day option from the date of the prospectus to purchase up to an additional 2.34 million shares to cover any over-allotments. It said that net proceeds from the offering will go toward general corporate purposes, which could include repayment of certain indebtedness.

The offering comes at a challenging time for the retail industry, which has been besieged 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.

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“Through the years, we have concentrated on serving our customers and communities, in both good and bad times,” chairman, president and CEO Ken Hicks wrote in a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “I am proud of how our company has continued this commitment during the COVID-19 crisis, through our stores that remained open after being designated as an essential retailer and through our website and omnichannel capabilities — all proving valuable to our customers.”

He added, “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. 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.”

In the filing, Academy estimated that it served 30 million customers and brought in sales of $4.8 billion for the 2019 fiscal year. The company 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.

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