Sporting goods retailer Academy Sports and Outdoors Inc ASO.O sold shares in its initial public offering (IPO) on Thursday at $13 apiece, below its target range, to raise $203 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The IPO valued the Katy, Texas-based Academy Sports and Outdoors, which is owned by U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co Inc., at $1.1 billion.

Academy Sports had aimed to sell 15.6 million shares at a target price range of $15-$17 per share. Academy Sports did not respond to a request for comment.

The lacklustre IPO comes despite a surge in demand from U.S. customers looking for more at-home leisure activities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said e-commerce sales rose 406% and 210% in the first and second quarters of this year as customers placed more orders from home. It also said most of its stores remained open during the lockdowns after they were designated as essential retailers.

Academy Sports, which KKR bought in 2011, has 259 stores across the United States that sell sporting equipment including footwear, apparel, gym accessories as well as outdoor products like tents, grills and bicycles.

The company said its revenue in 2019 was $4.8 billion with a net income of $120 million. In the first half of 2020, the company said revenue reached $2.7 billion.

Academy Sports made headlines last year when federal prosecutors said the retailer violated the law by selling an assault-style rifle and magazines to Devin Patrick Kelley, who walked into a Texas church in 2017 and opened fire on worshippers, killing 26 people and wounding 40 others.

Shares in Academy Sports are due to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol “ASO.”

Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, KKR and BofA Securities are among the lead underwriters for the IPO.

Source: Reuters

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