Natural Grocers Becomes Latest Industry Company To Go Public

Lakewood, CO—Natural and organic retail chain Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage will try to raise $115 million through the sale of common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company filed as Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc., and would like to trade on the NYSE under the symbol “NGVC.”

Equity firms Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey and Piper Jaffray will be the lead underwriters for the IPO. Natural Grocers, which sells natural and organic groceries and dietary supplements online and from its outlets throughout the Midwest region, had net sales of $264.5 million during fiscal year 2011. The company’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission did not reveal the number of shares they intend to offer or the expected opening price, but the company did say it will use proceeds from the offering to pay off debt.

A large number of the chain’s stores are located in Colorado. The company places an emphasis on educating customers on natural products through its Web site and with in-store resources, and offers only certified organic produce. They are also known for their policy of not providing paper or plastic bags to customers at checkout to reduce their environmental impact, instead offering cloth bags or boxes.

Published by WholeFoods Magazine Online (online 6/19/12)