Bravo Brio Raises $140 Million in Italian Restaurant Chain IPO

Vera Bradley Inc., the maker of women’s handbags, and Italian restaurant chain Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Inc. jumped in their first day of trading after raising a combined $316 million in initial public offerings.

Vera Bradley of Fort Wayne, Indiana, surged 55 percent to $24.85 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading today after selling 11 million shares at $16 each, the top end of its price range. Bravo Brio gained 14 percent to $15.95. The Columbus, Ohio-based company priced 10 million shares for $14 apiece yesterday after offering 8.3 million at $14 to $16.

The rallies came as the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above its highest close since the month that New York- based Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in 2008. Vera Bradley’s sales grew 26 percent to $165 million in the six months ended July 31 from a year earlier, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

“The overall market sentiment is good,” said Darren Fabric, Chicago-based managing director at IPOX Capital Management LLC, which oversees $3 billion. “Vera Bradley has popularity right now with a certain segment of the population, and so you see demand for it.”

Four of the five IPOs this week climbed in their first day of trading, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Beijing-based TAL Education Group, which offers after-school tutoring services in China, gained 50 percent yesterday after raising $120 million.

Piper Jaffray

Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee and Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray Cos. led Vera Bradley’s sale. Jefferies Group Inc. in New York, Piper Jaffray and San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. arranged Bravo Brio’s offering.

Today’s gains were the latest sign that the U.S. IPO market may be rebounding after at least 54 companies withdrew or postponed initial sales this year amid concern that the recovery from the longest recession since the Great Depression was deteriorating. No American company has raised more than $700 million in an initial offering this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“We were very happy where we landed in terms of pricing,” Michael Ray, Vera Bradley’s chief executive officer, said in an interview from Milwaukee. “If you consider other IPOs prior to ours, we were very pleased.”

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Bridgewater, New Jersey- based biopharmaceutical company that develops drugs treating lipid disorders, will offer 4.7 million shares at $14 to $16 today, SEC filings and data compiled by Bloomberg show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cecile Vannucci in New York at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Hauck at dhauck1@bloomberg.net.

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