DavidsTea Kettle Boils Over as Shares Surge in Trading Debut

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DavidsTea’s Begins U.S. Expansion With IPO

Shares of DavidsTea Inc. bubbled higher in its trading debut, continuing the string of hot initial public offerings from Canadian companies.

The Mount Royal, Quebec-based tea brewer’s shares surged 43 percent to $27.18 at 2:55 p.m. in New York. The shares were sold at $19 apiece after the company earlier revised its price range to $17 to $18 from $14 to $16.

“The interest in tea is on the rise” Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Toutant said in an interview. “We want to make it fun and accessible.”

The company raised $96.9 million from the sale of 5.1 million shares, according to a statement from the company. The underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., also have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 765,000 shares at the IPO price.

DavidsTea follows Stingray Digital Group Inc., which jumped 18 percent on its first day of trading in Toronto on Wednesday, and Shopify Inc., which rose 51 percent in New York on May 21.

Herschel Segal, founder and former CEO of Canadian clothing retailer Le Chateau Inc., and his cousin, David Segal, founded DavidsTea, according to the company website.

The Segals opened the first DavidsTea store in Toronto in

2008. They now own and operate 162 stores across the U.S. and Canada, serving more than 150 types of loose-leaf and pre-packaged tea as well as gifts and accessories.

The chain opened its first U.S. location in 2011 and now has 25 stores in New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. Toutant said DavidsTea will open as many as 15 more U.S. locations this year, mainly in its existing markets. The company may one day have 550 total stores in North America, with a majority in the U.S., he said.

“We can be a specialty retail destination for tea,” Toutant said.

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