October 28, 2009, 12:00 AM

Vitamin Shoppe launches IPO today with higher than expected stock price

Vitamin Shoppe, a multichannel retailer of nutritional supplements, plans to use net proceeds of $121.2 million for the redemption of preferred stock and the repurchase of senior secured notes.

Vitamin Shoppe Inc., a multichannel retailer of nutritional supplements, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange today at a share price of $17, up from a planned $14-$16 range. It plans to use net proceeds of about $121.2 million for the redemption of preferred stock and the repurchase of senior secured notes.

Vitamin Shoppe, No. 171 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, raised a total of $154.6 million. The company, trading under the symbol VSI, offered a total of 9,096,077 shares of stock. That total included 7,666,667 shares of common stock, with the remaining 1,429,410 shares offered by selling stockholders.

Vitamin Shoppe`s stock price reached $17.95 at the close of markets today, up 5.6%.

The IPO is being managed by lead underwriters J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch & Co. and Barclays Plc. Piper Jaffray & Co., Robert W. Baird & Co. and Stifel Nicolaus are serving as co-managers of the offering.

Vitamin Shoppe sells on the web at VitaminShoppe.com and BodyTech.com. Last year, its number of active online customers increased by about 15% to 460,000.

The retailer also sells through a catalog and more than 400 stores.

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