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Grill Maker Weber Climbs 18% in Debut After Downsized IPO

(Bloomberg) — Weber Inc., the barbecue grill maker, rose 18% in its U.S. initial public offering after slashing the share sale to raise $250 million, less than a third of its target.

The company’s shares, which sold in the IPO for $14, closed trading Thursday at $16.50, giving the Palatine, Illinois-based company a market value of about $4.7 billion based on the outstanding shares listed in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its IPO Wednesday, Weber sold only 18 million shares after marketing 47 million of them for $15 to $17.

The company debuted as the capital markets in the U.S. begins to wind down ahead of the traditional summer break. Several listings were postponed the past week due to market conditions, including Leonard Green-backed WCG Clinical Inc. which had planned to price its $765 million IPO on Wednesday.

Smaller grill-maker rival Traeger Inc. has jumped 61% since it went public last week after pricing its IPO at the top end of a marketed range.

“Regardless of any movement around day in, day out, there’s a great runway story for Weber going forward,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Scherzinger said in an interview. The company had one in-person meeting during the roadshow to market the shares, a Wall Street staple that has largely vanished since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The stay-at-home trend that has fueled demand for Weber’s products could persist as employers delay their return-to-work timelines due to the spread of Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The lockdown and people staying at home has been very favorable for the grill industry, Scherzinger said.

“People are falling in love again with grilling,” he said. “That’s a trend that’s very sticky and we don’t think it’s going away.”

Weber reported $963 million in sales in the six months through March, a jump of more than 60% from the same period last year. Its net income rose to $73.8 million from $23.6 million over the same period.

The offering was led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp.and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Weber’s shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WEBR.

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph)

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