Surf wear maker Volcom, whose "youth against establishment" mantra helped it become one of the industry's hottest brands, is diving headfirst into the mainstream by going public.
The Costa Mesa company said in a regulatory filing that it planned to sell as much as $86.3 million in stock. That sets it on a path paved by industry leaders Quiksilver Inc. in Huntington Beach and Billabong International Ltd. in Australia.
"It's a good time to either sell or go public [as] an action sports company if you've got a great brand, because there's tons of demand out there for it," said Christy Glass Lowe, managing director of USBX Inc., an investment bank based in Santa Monica. "People want to participate in the sector right now."
Indeed, Zumiez Inc., an Everett, Wash., retailer that sells surf and skate brands, is set to begin trading on Nasdaq this week for $15 to $17 a share.
Volcom intends to use $20 million of its offering's proceeds to repay debts to existing shareholders. The remainder would be used for marketing and advertising, upgrading facilities, developing its European infrastructure, working capital and other purposes.
Volcom was founded in 1991 by Tucker Hall and Richard Woolcott, 39, a former Quiksilver employee who is Volcom's chief executive. Volcom's stone symbol is well-known among Southland youths, who began snapping up the company's stickers before its apparel line ever hit stores, said T.K. Brimer, owner of Frog House Surfboard Shop in Newport Beach.
The company, which has 172 employees, expanded its offerings as it built sales to $113 million in 2004, up 48% from 2003. Volcom earned a profit of $24.6 million in 2004, up 72% from 2003, according to the filing.
Its products are sold in about 2,900 stores in the U.S. and in more than 40 countries. Woolcott was paid almost $487,000 in salary and bonus last year.
Volcom's director nominees include Carl Womack, former chief financial officer for Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.