Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc., which produces high-end food for cats and dogs, climbed in its stock market debut after raising $677 million in an initial public offering.
Blue Buffalo gained 36 percent to $27.20 at the close in New York. The stock is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol BUFF.
Existing shareholders, including the company’s founders and private-equity firm Invus Group LLC, sold 33.8 million shares for $20 apiece, according to a statement Tuesday. They initially offered 29.5 million for $16 to $18 each.
The company was founded in 2002 by Bill Bishop and his two sons, Billy and Chris, after their dog Blue was stricken with cancer. Concerned about the quality of the food their dog was eating, the family worked with animal nutritionists and a veterinarian to create animal-food products made with whole meats, fruits and vegetables and other “high-quality, natural” ingredients, according to the prospectus.
Last year, Blue Buffalo generated $917.8 million in sales, an increase of 28 percent from 2013. Net income jumped 30 percent to $101.9 million, the prospectus shows.
Blue Buffalo will be issuing up to 35,934 shares to approximately 1,700 non-management employees at no cost to them, according to the statement.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. managed the offering.