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Blue Apron slashes its IPO range

  • Blue Apron now estimates it will price its IPO at $10 to $11 a share.
  • Previously, the company was expecting to price shares between $15 and $17 apiece.
  • Blue Apron's offering is expected to be priced Wednesday, and the stock is scheduled to debut Thursday on the NYSE.

Blue Apron, which delivers ingredients for meals people can cook at home, on Wednesday slashed the range of its initial public offering.

The company now estimates it will price its IPO at $10 to $11 a share, down from the $15 to $17 a share it initially expected.

The new pricing range implies a valuation of up to $2.08 billion, compared with $3.2 billion earlier.

Last week, the company submitted a filing that kicked off the process to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "APRN." Blue Apron had said it hoped to raise $100 million with its IPO.

The company is now in the final stages of preparing to go public in an already competitive meal-kit landscape.

Amazon, which is preparing to buy Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal, has tested food delivery, through its AmazonFresh offering, and meal kits, which deliver ingredients and recipes to Prime subscribers.

New York-based Blue Apron, though, still holds the title of being the largest U.S. meal-kit delivery service.

A Blue Apron Holdings Inc. meal-kit delivery package sits outside a home.
Dan Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Blue Apron Holdings Inc. meal-kit delivery package sits outside a home.

Blue Apron said Wednesday it now estimates the net proceeds from the sale of class A common stock in its IPO will be about $292.7 million. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the IPO for working capital, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes.

Despite the high valuation Wall Street is looking for, Blue Apron has never turned a profit. Though it doubled its revenue to $795.4 million last year, the company still posted a net loss of $54.9 million as it poured money into logistics and marketing. In fact, the company has posted steeper net losses each year since 2014, according to regulatory filings.

Blue Apron was founded in 2012 by Matthew B. Salzberg, Matt Wadiak, and Ilia Papas with an objective to deliver ingredients and recipes that would allow customers to prepare meals at home.

Other players in the meal-kit space include HelloFresh and Chefs Plate. One threat for these companies, including Blue Apron, is that more than half of meal-kit subscribers cancel their subscriptions within the first six months, according to data from Cardlytics.

A delivery service, such as Blue Apron, tends to give big discounts or freebies to lure subscribers, and if that upfront cost doesn't pay off in converting trial runs into real subscribers, the added overhead could hit a company's bottom line.

Meanwhile, Blue Apron is insisting its market opportunity is broad, as more customers choose to buy its meals instead of shopping at grocery stores, ordering takeout or eating at restaurants.

Blue Apron's offering is expected to be priced Wednesday, and the stock is scheduled to debut Thursday on the NYSE.

Bessemer Venture Partners, Stripes Group and Fidelity are among Blue Apron's investors. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Barclays are among the underwriters to its IPO.

—CNBC's Nick Wells and Reuters contributed to this report.

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