Grill Maker Weber’s IPO Goes From Sizzle to Fizzle

(Bloomberg) — Weber Inc., showing the limits of barbecue grill makers going public, cut the size of its initial public offering by more than half and priced it below a marketed range to raise $250 million.

The Palatine, Illinois-based company sold slightly less than 18 million shares for $14 each, according to a statement. Weber had marketed almost 47 million shares for $15 to $17, which would have raised as much as $797 million.

The company has a market value of less than $4 billion based on the outstanding shares listed in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Weber fared worse in its IPO than Rival Traeger Inc., which raised $424 million in its listing in July. BBQGuys, an e-commerce platform for grills backed by retired American football stars Eli and Peyton Manning, has agreed to go public through blank-check firm Velocity Acquisition Corp. in a transaction that values the combined entity at $963 million.

Weber reported $963 million in sales in the six months through March, a jump of more than 60% from the same period last year. Its net income rose to $73.8 million from $23.6 million over the same period.

Weber launched its first grill in 1952. Since 2010, it’s been majority owned by BDT Capital Partners, the Chicago-based investment firm and merchant bank founded and led by Byron Trott.

Trott and BDT Capital Partners, as well as Weber’s management, are listed in the filing as being among its biggest shareholders. The company plans to use the IPO proceeds to buy back shares from its holding company and from some existing shareholders.

The offering is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Weber’s shares are set to begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WEBR.

(Updates with statement in second paragraph)

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