Levi's could have $5 billion evaluation

The iconic jeans company could go public in 2019.

Woman shopping
Source: Bloomberg

Even though Levi Strauss & Co. has been around for 145 years, the company could be new to Wall Street. The jeans company is possibly planning to offer an initial public offering (IPO) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 with a possible valuation of $5 billion.

Levi’s history on Wall Street

Levi’s has been an iconic jeans brand for decades. Levi Strauss, the company’s namesake, even created the first pair of jeans worn in California in the 1800s. The San Francisco-based brand has since become an iconic name synonymous with American casual fashion.

Levi’s was a publicly traded company in the 1970s. It started out successful at first, but the stock plummeted in the 1980s. The corporation went private in the 1990s and is now owned by the Strauss family. Levi’s Japanese division is currently the only public traded affiliate of the brand on the Japan 225.

How Levi’s stays relevant

The chief executive officer, (CEO), Chip Bergh, has turned the brand around since taking over the company in 2011. The corporation has turned a profit and cut its debt in half as a result of his leadership. Levi’s last reported revenue was $1.4 billion, a 10% increase from 2017. Sales growth has come from the brand’s online wholesale business and increased customer visits to brick-and-mortar stores worldwide.

Bergh has also drawn attention for making Levi’s a brand with corporate responsibility. He has formed a coalition of business owners to fund efforts to fight gun violence in the US. Bergh also recently gave employees paid time off to vote in the recent US midterm elections. The CEO responded to criticism that business owners shouldn’t take political stands.

‘Having the courage to stand up and take a stand has always been part of our [Levi’s] lifeblood. It’s who we are. Our employees expect it,’ said Bergh.

Why Levi’s could be valued so high

Levi’s could command such a high valuation based on its long-standing reputation. The company also reached that valuation when it reached $5 billion in 2017. JPMorgan Chase has been chosen to negotiate the deal. The corporation is apparently hoping to raise $600-$800 before its public debut in Q1..

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