Levi Strauss & Co., the 145-year-old company credited with creating the first pair of blue jeans, is planning an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Levi's is looking to raise between $600 million and $800 million and targeting the first quarter of 2019 to go public, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing confidential deal details. The company is aiming to debut with a valuation upward of $5 billion, the people said.
The San Francisco-based company has tapped Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to manage the deal, although the timing and size of the offering could change, the people said.
Levi's traces its history back to 1853 when Levi Strauss, an immigrant from Bavaria, moved to California during the gold-rush era seeking to open a West Coast outpost of his family's dry goods business. About two decades later, one of his customers, a tailor, partnered with Strauss to patent the idea to use rivets to make a pair of pants last longer and the company was born. This led to the first pair of blue jeans, the company said.
Levi's is currently privately held by the descendants of the family of Levi Strauss. The company's Japanese affiliate, Levi Strauss K.K. is publicly traded in Tokyo, and Levi's bonds are publicly traded. As a result, Levi's reports quarterly earnings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.