Levi Strauss public again, stock surges

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 21: Traders, many in jeans, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the day that Levi Strauss has returned to the stock market with an IPO on March 21, 2019 in New York City. The iconic blue jean maker and clothing retailer has priced its initial public offering at $17 per share, valuing the company at about $6.6 billion.. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Shares of Levi Strauss surged after it began trading as public company for the second time in the clothing brand’s 166-year history.

The shares were priced Wednesday at $17 and opened for trading Thursday at $22.22, a gain of 31 percent. At the close, Levi rose 32 percent to $22.41.

In a rare move, the New York Stock Exchange suspended its “no jeans” policy to commemorate the offering, transforming the floor from suits and ties into a sea of blue denim, with its traders sporting jeans and denim jackets.

Investors said the strong demand for shares in Levi, which owns the Dockers and Denizen brands, is a good sign for other companies eyeing an IPO this year. Ride-hailing company Lyft will sell shares to the public next week, and larger rival Uber is expected to go public later this spring.

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