The Auburn-based sex shop chain Peekay Boutiques plans to sell up to $38 million in an IPO. Also, REI rolls out a national parks smartphone app, and T-Mobile buys naming rights to an arena in Las Vegas.
Investors’ passion for initial public offerings cooled in 2015 as they grew anxious about performance, bored with the same old thing and frustrated about meeting unrealistic expectations.
Maybe they’ll get excited by the upcoming IPO of Peekay Boutiques, the Auburn-based chain of sex shops. Or not.
The company, which runs 48 stores under four brands including Lovers and A Touch of Romance, intends in the next few weeks to sell up to $38 million worth of stock at $6 to $8 per share.
As CEO Lisa Berman said in an interview last year, the company aspires to be “a leader in changing the perception of sexual wellness.” To that end, the prospectus notes, “We have over 5,000 SKUs (stock-keeping units) available ranging from $1 condoms to $265 vibrators.”
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Its origins are heartwarming — a local mother and daughter who built a network of Northwest stores welcoming to women as well as men.
But founder Phyllis Heppenstall sold out in 2012 to investors who used piles of borrowed money to buy Peekay and others in the same business. Their track record suggests this deal may be not be one to fall in love with.
• Peekay’s latest reported sales, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, increased a decent 5.2 percent to $30.9 million from the same period in 2014. Yet its net loss rose 60 percent to $4.5 million.
• The heavy load of high-priced debt left Peekay paying $6.6 million a year in interest. Four times last year it obtained waivers from its lenders after failing to meet loan covenants. It has successfully turned some debt into stock. But it still owes $38 million, and only $16 million from the IPO will go to paying that down, according to the prospectus.
• Its IPO plan has wavered. First filed last May to raise up to $50 million, the IPO now aims for $25 to $38 million; after initially expecting to list on Nasdaq, Peekay now says it can’t qualify until a period of “seasoning” in the over-the-counter market, since it was formed by merger with a shell company.
• Its venture into private-label goods, which provided about 6 percent of sales, was suspended last year as the company searched for “a more reliable manufacturer.”
• Plans to add stores have been hampered by its lack of cash. The latest new store, in California, was added 10 months ago, according to the prospectus.
A spokeswoman said that quiet-period restrictions before a public offering preclude any comment by Peekay’s executives or its underwriter, a Chicago firm called Lake Street Capital Markets.
And what happens if the wobbly stock market interferes with Peekay’s IPO plan? Could be trouble.
The $38 million debt was due Dec. 31, and while Peekay has yet another waiver that would extend the loans for three years, that only takes effect if it completes the stock offering.
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REI introduces digital trail guide
REI has released a digital trail guide to U.S. national parks to commemorate the centennial of the national park system.
The guide will take the form of an app for Android and iOS, and was developed by Adventure Projects, a Colorado-based firm REI acquired last year. The firm specializes in providing information to climbers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
The app, dubbed the REI Co-op Guide to the National Parks, will contain trail maps and descriptions for many national parks and their surroundings, as well as information shared by users, a little like the mapping tool Waze.
REI said in a statement that the app is “powered by the collective knowledge of the outdoor community and puts their shared wisdom about deeper park experiences into the hands of America’s adventurers.”
Last March REI joined an ambitious campaign to help draw younger and more diverse visitors to U.S. national parks.
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Vegas arena to be named T-Mobile
As more than 150,000 people spent the week at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, hitting convention floors full of technology ranging from the latest Chevy Bolt, Sony TV and Samsung refrigerator to an app that tells where it is OK to fly drones, Bellevue-based T-Mobile was in Vegas for a completely different reason.
The Bellevue-based mobile phone company announced Thursday that the new 20,000-seat sports and entertainment arena set to open in April just west of the Las Vegas Strip — behind New York-New York — will be called T-Mobile Arena.
The $375 million arena is a joint venture with MGM Resorts International and AEG. It will host more than 100 events annually, including UFC, boxing and other sporting events, concerts, awards shows and special events, according to a release.
The terms of the deal, including how much T-Mobile paid and how long the company will have the naming rights, were not disclosed.
“T-Mobile Arena will have the biggest shows in a town known for big shows, and T-Mobile customers will always be treated like VIPs with priority access and exclusive benefits,” COO Mike Sievert said.
The company said T-Mobile customers will get unique benefits like a dedicated fast-track VIP venue entrance at every event. At select events, they can access event tickets and premium VIP experiences reserved exclusively for T-Mobile customers, pre-sales and seat upgrade opportunities.
The venue will have some exclusive VIP experiences, including the Hyde Lounge, a nightclub with views of all action below.
Events already confirmed for the arena’s opening season include The Killers in April, UFC 200 in July, Harlem Globetrotters, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Dixie Chicks, Janet Jackson, UNLV/Duke college basketball, and the 2016 Professional Bull Riders World Finals.
T-Mobile does not have naming rights on any other arenas or stadiums, but during CES in 2013 the company did announce a “multiyear, multimillion-dollar partnership” to become the official wireless sponsor of Major League Baseball.
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