IBJNews

Vera Bradley set to go public

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Vera Bradley Inc. is set to make its debut as a publicly traded company.

The Fort Wayne-based handbag maker’s initial public offering is expected to be priced by Wednesday morning, positioning company shares to begin trading on NASDAQ under the symbol VRA.

Vera Bradley raised about $165 million by offering 11 million shares—7 million currently held by insiders and another 4 million new shares. The estimated offering price is $14 to $16 each.

But Morningstar analyst Pete Wahlstrom predicts the IPO could bring $18 a share because of higher-than-expected interest. That would push the total value of the IPO to $198 million.

It is the first Indiana-based company to go public since Carmel-based used-vehicle auctioneer KAR Auction Services Inc. raised $300 million in December.

Two more Indiana companies are set to follow Vera Bradley.

Evansville-based UCI International, a supplier of replacement parts for the light- and heavy-duty vehicle aftermarket, said in July it plans to raise $200 million. And biopharmaceutical company Endocyte Inc. filed its IPO in August.

Endocyte, headquartered at Purdue University Park in West Lafayette, has yet to determine the number of shares to be offered and their price range.

Having three IPOs filed so far this year is quite a turnaround from recent years. Only two were filed in 2009. Besides KAR, Evansville-based infant-formula-maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. staged a $782 million IPO in February 2009, but then promptly moved its headquarters to the Chicago area.

If both UCI International and Endocyte also go public this year, the three completed IPOs would equal 2007’s output. No more than three companies in Indiana have gone public since five did in 2004.

“It’s been a horrible IPO market for quite awhile,” said David Millard, chairman of the business department at locally based law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP. “This is a great sign to see companies take it the rest of the way.”

Nationally, 213 companies have filed IPOs, which represents a 222-percent increase from last year—the lowest output since 2001.

Meanwhile, Patricia Miller and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, two friends who founded Vera Bradley in 1982, are the biggest sellers of company stock.

Miller, Indiana’s former secretary of commerce, is selling 2.8 million shares in the company’s IPO, likely generating a windfall of at least $39 million. Baekgaard is selling 2.2 million shares, likely generating at least $30.8 million.

Both founders will remain big shareholders. Together with her husband, P. Michael Miller, Patricia Miller would own more than 10 million shares representing a quarter of the company. Baekgaard would own 11 million shares representing nearly 30 percent of the company.

The pair no longer lead the business but remain on the board. Miller, 72, serves as the company’s national spokeswoman, and Baekgaard, 71, serves as chief creative officer.

The company sells online as well as through 3,300 independent retailers and 28 of its own full-price stores.

The first full-price store opened just three years ago. Vera Bradley says in its SEC filing that it believes the United States can support more than 300 of the stores.

Vera Bradley reported profit in its latest fiscal year of $43.2 million on $288.9 million in revenue.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

ADVERTISEMENT