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Blue Apron Said to Be in Talks With Banks for Initial Offering

Blue Apron Inc. is interviewing banks that want to work on the meal-kit delivery company’s initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company is holding what’s known as a bakeoff, in which bankers will pitch their IPO strategies in hopes of working on the deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. The talks with banks started this week, the people said.

Blue Apron is profitable and would be valued at about $3 billion in an IPO, people familiar with the situation said in June. A representative for the New York-based company didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment outside of regular business hours.

Founded in 2012, Blue Apron sends boxes of pre-portioned ingredients and instructions -- like all the fixings to make roasted pork steamed buns or mushroom and fennel fettuccine -- for customers to cook meals at home. It’s not alone: Plated, which also started in 2012, has a similar ingredient-delivery model. German startup HelloFresh started in the U.S. later that year and Purple Carrot began its vegan options in fall 2014.

Still, there hasn’t been an initial offering from a consumer-technology company since Match Group Inc., the online-dating powerhouse that owns OKCupid and Tinder, sold shares to the public in November 2015.

Last October, Blue Apron named Brad Dickerson chief financial officer. He joined from Under Armour Inc., where he’d worked since 2004, most recently as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Dickerson started at the meal-kit company early this year, according to a statement.

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