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Pool supplies retailer Leslie's surges 21% in Nasdaq debut

(Reuters) - Shares of Leslie's Inc LESL.O surged 21% in their Nasdaq debut on Thursday, marking a strong listing for the pool supplies retailer after it sold $680 million in stock in its initial public offering.

Stock opened at $20.60 per share, compared with the IPO price of $17 per share.

The company, which is backed by private equity firm L Catterton, had previously targeted a range between $14 and $16 apiece for its offering of 40 million shares. Ten million of those shares were offered by a selling stockholder. (bit.ly/3jFsSdE)

At the debut price, Leslie’s was valued around $3.84 billion.

The offering comes amid a surge in demand for backyard pools as consumers living under lockdown look for more at-home leisure activities.

“The pandemic has brought this heightened sense of safety and sanitization among consumers, and that is going to continue even when it is over,” Chief Executive Office Michael Egeck said.

Egeck also hinted at potential deals and acquisitions going forward. “We have alerted our investors that they should expect us to be active in that area.”

Leslie’s has over 900 store locations, and its products include above-ground pools, saunas and pool chemicals.

Shares of rival Pool Corp POOL.O were up about 71% this year, up to their last close.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities are the lead underwriters for Leslie’s IPO.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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