At $13, Under Armour IPO shares top expectations


Under Armour Inc., the Baltimore sports apparel company, will make its debut as a publicly traded company today after selling shares to its underwriters last night for a higher price than it had anticipated.

The initial public offering was priced at $13 a share last night, according to a source familiar with the sale. The company had first projected $7.50 to $9.50 a share, then revised the estimate to $10 to $12, an indication that the underwriters foresee strong demand.

Trading begins today on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker symbol UARM. Goldman Sachs & Co. is the lead underwriter.

The company and several shareholders are selling 12.1 million shares, which would raise about $157 million. The company has said it will use the proceeds from its sale of 9.5 million shares to repay debt, redeem preferred stock held by investor Rosewood Capital and for general corporate purposes.

Company founder Kevin A. Plank will retain about a third of the company's outstanding shares but have voting control through nearly exclusive ownership of a special voting class of shares.

Plank, a former University of Maryland football player, started the company in the mid-1990s with the idea of creating something better than cotton T-shirts that get saturated with sweat during workouts. He created a line of apparel that wicks sweat from the body.

The company, which works with manufacturers in nearly 20 countries, sells shirts, shorts, underwear, gloves and other products.

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