Blue Apron Sets I.P.O. Target at $586.5 Million

This post was originally published on this site

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/06/20/business/20db-blueapron2/20db-blueapron2-moth.jpg

Blue Apron has its sights set high for its coming stock market debut.

Blue Apron, a meal delivery service, disclosed on Monday that it was aiming to raise as much as $586.5 million in its initial public offering, as the company joins a growing number of consumer-focused start-ups that have their eyes on the public markets.

In an amended prospectus, Blue Apron said that it was planning on pricing its shares between $15 and $17. At the midpoint of that range, the company would be valued at roughly $3 billion, and at the high end it would be valued around $3.2 billion.

The company plans to sell at least 30 million shares in its initial offering, though underwriters can sell an additional 4.5 million shares if demand proves strong enough.

Yet Monday’s filing was published amid a retail industry — and particularly the grocery sector — suddenly in tumult. On Friday, Amazon announced a $13.4 billion deal to buy Whole Foods, a planned takeover that could upset the entire food landscape.

Shares in other grocery chains plunged after the news was announced, and analysts speculated about what that union, if it is finalized, would mean for food delivery start-ups like Instacart.

Other big retailers, meanwhile, have bought or invested in internet-native start-ups to bolster their own e-commerce know-how. Walmart purchased Bonobos, a men’s clothing company, for $310 million, while Target led a $170 million investment into Casper, a maker of mattresses and other sleep products.

Born five years ago, Blue Apron focuses on a narrower business proposition: shipping customers ingredients for three specific meals a week. It is a model meant to cater to both Americans’ growing desire to cook at home and their appetite for convenient home delivery services.

Since its inception, Blue Apron has posted significant gains in sales, with revenue in 2016 more than doubling from the previous year, to $795.4 million. But it has continued to lose money as it spends cash on marketing and growth, losing $54.9 million last year.

Its offering is being led by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Barclays. The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol APRN.