Premium pet food company Freshpet prices IPO at $15 per share-Reuters

(Reuters) – Freshpet Inc, a U.S. maker of healthy food for cats and dogs, raised about $156 million in its initial public offering after its IPO was priced at $15 per share, above the expected price range of $12-$14.

The company sold 10.4 million shares. At the IPO price, the company was valued at $477 million, based on outstanding common stock of about 31.8 million.

Founded in 2006, Freshpet makes fresh, refrigerated food for dogs and cats as an alternative to dry or canned food, and sells under brands such as Dognation, Dog Joy and Nature’s Fresh.

Secaucus, New Jersey-based Freshpet’s products, available at stores including Target Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc , do not have preservatives, fillers, corn or wheat.

The company counts private equity firm MidOcean Partners LP and Tyson Foods Inc, the largest U.S. meat processor, among its investors.

Freshpet reported a 38 percent rise in net sales to $39.7 million for the six months ended June 30 from a year earlier. The company’s net loss widened to $11.4 million from about 10 million.

The company is expected to debut on the Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol “FRPT.”

Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse were among the underwriters of the IPO.