Food distributor returns to Big Board

PFG is headquartered in the West Creek office park in Goochland County. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

PFG is headquartered in the West Creek office park in Goochland County. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

After a seven-year absence, Goochland-based Performance Food Group has returned to the New York Stock Exchange.

The food distribution giant reemerged on the Big Board on Thursday with an initial public offering that raised $275.5 million with the sale of 14.5 million shares of common stock at $19 per share. It is now trading under the symbol “PFGC.”

Following an initial drop to $18.72 after trading started, the company’s share price jumped up as high as $19.90 Thursday morning before closing the day at $19.16.

A company spokesman said executives who were in New York on Thursday were unavailable to comment on the first-day performance.

Thursday marked PFG’s first day as a publicly traded company since 2008, when it was taken private by majority owners The Blackstone Group and Wellspring Capital Management.

Prior to that, PFG had been one of Richmond’s largest publicly traded companies, though its revenues as a private company have continued to rival Richmond business giants such as Altria, Dominion and CarMax. According to SEC filings, the company generated $13.7 billion in net sales in fiscal year 2014 and ended that year with $15.5 million in net income.

The $19 per share IPO price was below the initial range of $22-$25 that the company announced last month.

More than 1.7 million of the 14.5 million shares were to be offered by selling stockholders, with the remainder offered by the company. The underwriters of the IPO have a 30-day option to purchase up to 2.175 million additional shares at the IPO price, the company said in an announcement.

The company first signaled its intentions to go public about a year ago with an initial prospectus filed with the SEC. The investment banking firms handling the IPO include Credit Suisse Securities, Barclays Capital, Wells Fargo Securities, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone Capital Markets, BB&T Capital Markets, Guggenheim Securities and Macquarie Capital.

Headquartered in West Creek, PFG markets and distributes approximately 150,000 food items and food-related products from 68 distribution centers to more than 150,000 customers. In addition to restaurant chains such as Bonefish Grill, Cracker Barrel, O’Charley’s and Outback Steakhouse, customers include schools, business and industry locations, hospitals, vending distributors, office coffee service distributors, big-box retailers and theaters.

PFG is the third-largest food distribution company in the country behind Sysco Corp. and US Foods. A failed merger between the two bigger companies recently resulted in a $25 million windfall for PFG, which had planned to purchase 11 US Foods distribution centers from Sysco once the merger was completed.

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