Vitamin Shoppe IPO Prices Above Range, Addus Below

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Vitamin Shoppe Inc (VSI.N) priced shares in its initial public offering above expectations and became the first retailer in two years to go public, while home health care provider Addus Home Care Corp’s (ADUS.O) IPO priced below estimates but was increased in size.

Vitamin Shoppe sold 9.1 million shares for $17, more than the expected range of $14 to $16, raising $162.1 million, an underwriter said.

While a number of private equity-backed IPOs launched since mid-September have priced below estimates, Vitamin Shoppe bucked that trend because of its growth, analysts said.

“During this economic downturn, they kept their same-store sales and margins at the same levels, while increasing the number of store locations. That’s an impressive achievement,” said Scott Sweet, a senior managing partner at advisory firm IPO Boutique.

Vitamin Shoppe, a North Bergen, New Jersey-based operator of 434 health supplement stores in the United States, became the first bricks-and-mortar retailer to go public since the Oct. 2007 IPO by beauty products chain Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc (ULTA.O).

Vitamin Shoppe grew at an annual clip of 11.3 percent between 2005 and 2008, when it reached sales of $601.5 million. During that time, it opened 171 new stores, according to its prospectus. It has been profitable since 2006.

In its prospectus, Vitamin Shoppe said it estimated it could eventually reach 900 stores in the United States.

Vitamin Shoppe, which is selling 84.3 percent of the shares in the offering, had estimated the IPO would yield net proceeds of $107 million based on a mid-range price of $15 per share. It plans to use the proceeds to redeem preferred shares held by its backers and to pay down some of its debt.

Irving Place Capital Management LP, formerly known as Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, bought Vitamin Shoppe in 2002. It is not selling any shares, and will continue to own 54.5 percent after the IPO.

The 1.4 million shares being sold by shareholders in the IPO were held by the founder’s family and funds managed by the Blackstone Group. (BX.N)

The Vitamin Shoppe IPO is being managed by JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital. The underwriters will have the option of buying another 1.4 million shares from Vitamin Shoppe’s selling shareholders.

Addus HomeCare Corp, an Illinois-based provider of home health care, priced shares in its IPO at $10 each, below the estimated range of between $11 and $13. But the company increased the size of the offering to 5.4 million shares from the 5 million originally planned.

The company said in a statement the IPO would yield it proceeds of $50.2 million. It plans to use the money to pay down debt and make a payment to its chief executive officer, according to a prospectus.

Addus HomeCare’s largest shareholder is private equity firm Eos Funds, whose stake in the company will fall by about half, according to its prospectus.

Its clients include federal, state and local government agencies, commercial insurers and private individuals, according to its prospectus.

In the first half of 2009, Addus HomeCare had sales of $126.8 million, up 14 percent over the same period in 2008, with net income of $12 million.

The Addus HomeCare IPO is being managed by Robert W. Baird & Co and Oppenheimer & Co, which have the option to purchase an additional 810,000 shares.

Vitamin Shoppe is set to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday under the symbol “VSI”, while Addus HomeCare will debut on Nasdaq under the symbol “ADUS.”

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; editing by Andre Grenon, Leslie Gevirtz, Toni Reinhold)