Globe Shoes Goes Public In Australia

The Melbourne-based Globe International Ltd., a manufacturer and retailer of shoes and clothing, had a A$74 million ($38-million U.S.) initial public offering on Wednesday, then saw its stock rise as much as 50 percent in its first trading day.

The company sold 74-million shares, or about one-quarter of the company, at A$1.00 each. The stock rose 49 cents to A$1.49, giving it a market value of A$538 million. Earlier the shares touched A$1.55.

The company expects profit to be A$15.4-million, or 4.2 cents a share, in the year ending June 30. It’s forecasting that to almost double to A$28.4 million, or 7.8 cents, in fiscal 2002 on sales of A$234.4 million as it expands offshore.

Proceeds from the offering will be used to repay debt, expand sales outside Australia and fund acquisitions, said the company that makes clothing and other accessories, such as hats and backpacks, for surfers and skateboarders. Founders Stephen and Peter Hill, together with their brother Matt Hill, are retaining a 76-percent stake in the company, which also makes Mooks clothing, M-ONE-11, Gallaz and Sista brands. Globe also holds licenses for eleven other brands including Ecko, Stussy, Split and Mossimo.

Shares of the other main public Australian action-sports company, Billabong International Ltd., have more than doubled since its initial offering on the Australian Stock Exchange last Aug. 8 at A$2.30 each.