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Three weeks after announcing that it would soon file an IPO, Solo Brands Inc. on Thursday made good on that promise by making its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.
CEO John Merris rang the opening bell, signaling the arrival of Solo Brands on the high-profile investment platform mere months after becoming a company.
Solo Brands is the recently formed holding company whose portfolio includes a quartet of outdoor brands—outdoor fire pit maker Solo Stove, men’s outdoor apparel brand Chubbies, Oru Kayak, and paddleboard company ISLE.
The Southlake, Texas-based company, now trading on the NYSE under the ticker “DTC,” priced the initial 12.9 million shares of its Class A common stock at $17 per share (the high end of the range of $14 to $17) for a raise of $219 million.
Underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase another 1.9 million shares of the stock at the IPO price. The targeted closing of the initial offering is Nov. 1.
In midday trading on Thursday, Solo Brands shares were up 23 percent to $20.90. At the closing bell, its shares were $17.99, down from its earlier high but still up 5.8 percent from the initial price of $17. The company’s initial valuation is more than $2.1 billion, according to MarketWatch, which called the debut a “strong opening performance.”
How Solo Brands reached its IPO
Solo Brands’ journey from nascency to the New York Stock Exchange is nothing short of remarkable, if only because of its expediency. The company officially formed in early September following a spate of acquisitions initiated by Solo Stove, which Merris had been leading for the past few years.
In four months, Solo Stove paid $129.5 million for Chubbies, $25.4 for Oru Kayak, and $24.8 million for ISLE. As those four brands began joining forces over the summer, Merris and his leadership team—including Solo Stove’s private equity backer, Summit Partners—realized the power of their new outdoor platform. So they united under a single holding company, Solo Brands.
“We just started leaning in hard on everything that these brands collectively could bring together and we started envisioning our customers in Chubbies gear feeling great about themselves, or out on the water on an ISLE paddleboard or in an Oru Kayak, or sitting around their Solo Stoves at camp,” Merris told OBJ in early September. “It just started all feeling right, and we thought, ‘These brands are in our wheelhouse, and maybe we’re thinking about something even bigger than we initially thought.’ And the idea of Solo Brands was born.”
Now the public can own a piece of Solo Brands, whose mission is to enhance its four brands’ ability to deliver premium products directly to consumers (hence the ticker “DTC”). Solo has ambitious growth plans through both organic means and acquisition.
“We truly believe that the next decade and beyond is going to be led by direct-to-consumer, digitally native brands that know how to deliver and are obsessed about delivering an exceptional customer experience,” Merris said. “We believe that, if done right, bringing brands together as we’ve done is better than any one of us could have done it by ourselves. It’s going to give us improved access to the customer, it’s going to give our customer better options.”