Under Armour sets IPO

Thursday's sale intended to raise $72.7 million for Baltimore apparel company


Under Armour Inc., the Baltimore sports apparel maker, plans to launch Thursday its initial public offering aimed at raising $72.7 million on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The IPO will make about 12 million shares available to the public for an estimated $7.50 to $9.50 a share. The sale will include 2.5 million shares owned by Under Armour founder Kevin A. Plank, several members of his family and other corporate insiders.

Plank would retain about a third of the company's outstanding shares and would have voting control by virtue of exclusive ownership of a special class of shares.

The company traces its origin to efforts in the mid-1990s by Plank, who played on the University of Maryland football team, to develop a T-shirt that would be more comfortable and drier than cotton ones. The company works with manufacturers in nearly 20 countries and sells shirts, shorts, underwear, gloves and other products.

Proceeds from the stock sale would be used to repay debt, redeem preferred stock held by investor Rosewood Capital and, possibly, to finance acquisitions, though none is planned.

Under Armour's competitors include sporting powerhouses such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it might have to contend with rising prices for endorsements from athletes, which have become a staple in the industry. In the past, Under Armour products were frequently donned by athletes and teams - and therefore implicitly endorsed - without a formal arrangement with the company.

Goldman Sachs & Co. will be the lead underwriter for the IPO. The company will be listed under the ticker symbol "UARM."


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