Privately held Price Pfister, the nation's third-biggest maker of faucets, said it will offer 18% of its shares of common stock, worth about $30 million, to the public.
The Pacoima-based company said it will file a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission by the end of the month. Citing "quiet-period" rules, Price Pfister would not reveal the name of the offering's underwriter.
Peter S. Gold, 62, president and chief executive, said the company is going public to build up the company's cash position in order to help it grow. He said he has long harbored a goal of surpassing its bigger and better-known rivals: Delta Faucet of Indianapolis, a subsidiary of Masco Corp., and Moen of Elyria, Ohio, a unit of Stanadyne.
Price Pfister's sales have more than doubled since 1983, to more than $100 million, said David P. Rousso, the company's executive vice president.
The company already has a stronger position in the Sun Belt and Western states than its Midwestern rivals. "They already own the most lucrative market around, Southern California," said Doug Garcia, advertising sales manager for Reeves Journal, a Laguna Hills-based plumbers' trade magazine.
But, in order to gain ground in the East, Price Pfister has kicked off an aggressive national advertising campaign on television, with a budget estimated at about $6 million for this year.
The ads combat head-on Price Pfister's name-recognition problem with the slogan "the pfabulous pfaucet with the pfunny name."
Price Pfister is also gaining a niche as the Cadillac of the decorative faucet business, with top models selling for about $100, contrasted with plain chrome faucets that cost about $20. Some models have crystal knobs and are gold-plated.
Three principals now own Price Pfister. Gold, who joined the company as a salesman in 1956, Sydney Irmas, a director, and Rousso. Gold and Irmas hold equal shares of unspecified size. Rousso's stake is much smaller.
Price Pfister plans to offer two million shares to the public, half from the principals and the other half directly from the company. After the sale, the three principals will own 82% of the stock.
Price Pfister is one of the largest employers in the East San Fernando Valley, with 1,350 staffers at its 600,000 square-foot plant.