Organic Food Maker Annie’s Kicks Off Busy Week for IPOs

Kicking off a robust week on the IPO calendar, Annie’s Inc. priced above the expected range.

Annies Mac and Cheese
Annies Mac and Cheese

The initial offering of the company, best known for its organic mac n’ cheese and ubiquitous bunny logo priced at $19 a share late Tuesday.

The expected range had been $14 to $16 but was raised to $16 to $18 on Monday — and wound up exceeding even that higher range.

Shares of the Berkeley, Calif., company are expected to trade under the symbol "BNNY." Its majority owners, Solera Capital and Najeti Capital, will sell 4 million shares in the deal, according to the prospectus. Annie’s will only receive proceeds for the additional 950,000 shares it sells.

Annie’s has a growing cadre of competitors that remain private, such as Amy’s Organic and Newman’s Own. Extra funding could help the company flex its muscle against other public-market competitors Kraftand Hain Celestial. Though tea-maker Hain is closer to Annie’s in size, Kraft has taken the organic battle to Annie’s own backyard: macaroni and cheese.

This week, 10 IPOs are expected to price, quite a cap to a dismal quarter for public offerings. If all deals start trading, the tally would be the highest in a single week December 2010. Dealogic data show global IPO volume fell an estimated 69 percent in Q1 from the same quarter a year ago and show IPO proceeds at levels not seen as low since the second quarter of 2009.

That being said, companies that have made it out of the pipeline have fared well: IPOs priced in 2012 are up 28.8 percent year-to-date, according to data from Renaissance Capital.

The key? Low volatility. With the CBOE Volatility Index, or “VIX”, trading at record-low levels, confidence levels that deals will succeed are rising.

Others on the docket for this week: Vocera Communications, Regional Management, CafePress, Millenial Media, Enphase Energy, Luca Technologies, Rexnord Corporation, GasLog, and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals.

Follow Kayla Tausche on Twitter: @kaylatausche