Close Close

Life Health > Health Insurance > Your Practice

KKR-Backed National Vision Climbs After $348 Million IPO

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

National Vision Holdings Inc. surged in its trading debut after raising $348 million in an initial public offering, more than it had first targeted.

The shares climbed as much as 32% and were up 26% to $27.68 at 2:37 p.m. in New York Thursday.

Investors were willing to pay up for a piece of the KKR & Co.-backed eyewear retailer and its 62 straight quarters of same-store sales growth. National Vision sold 15.8 million shares on Wednesday for $22 apiece, above the marketed range of $18 to $20 each.

(Related: Aflac Turns to KKR as Kirsch Diversifies $120 Billion Portfolio)

With 980 stores in the U.S., that consistent rise resulted mostly from an increase in the number of customers, not merely from existing customers spending more, the company said in its latest IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

National Vision Chief Executive Officer Reade Fahs said in an interview Thursday that the company plans to open about 75 new locations a year. That includes America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World and the Vision Center at Wal-Mart locations. At the same time, he plans to capitalize on a shift in U.S. employers’ spending on benefits.

As the cost of health care continues to rise, companies are looking to further limit costs — sometimes scaling back on employee benefits. While purchases covered by vision insurance makes up some of National Vision’s business, it has focused on customers who are paying out of pocket, Fahs said.

‘Real Value’

“When it’s your money, you seek out real value,” he said.

The company posted net income of $15 million on revenue of $1.2 billion last year. In the first six months of 2017, the company reported net income of $16 million on revenue of $707 million. It plans to use the IPO proceeds to pay down debt, according to its filing.

KKR bought a stake in Duluth, Georgia-based National Vision in 2014 from Berkshire Partners. The sponsors plan on holding 60% and 14% of the stock, respectively, after the offering.

Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and KKR led the offering. National Vision trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol EYE.

—-Read Feds Post Their Own Employees’ Benefits Enrollment Video on ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor’s Life/Health channel on
Facebook and Twitter.


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.