The IPO Buzz: Viking Prices Upsized IPO at $24 – $1 Below Top of Range

Viking Holdings Ltd. (VIK) priced its upsized IPO at $24.00 – $1.00 below the top of its $21.00-to-$25.00 range – on Tuesday night (April 30, 2024). Viking, the Bermuda parent of the upscale cruise line, sold 64.04 million shares – up from 53.04 million shares – at $24.00 each to raise  $1.54 billion ($1,536.96 million). Viking’s IPO kicked off the month of May with its debut today – Wednesday, May 1, 2024 – on the New York Stock Exchange. (Updates column with Viking’s debut on the NYSE) 

Viking’s stock opened at $26.15  – up $2.15 for a gain of 8.96 percent – when it started trading today (May 1) at around 12:50 p.m. EDT on the NYSE. Viking’s stock rose to $26.33 – up 9.71 percent from its $24.00 IPO price – on volume of about 13.2 million shares at around 1:10 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

Shares of Viking closed Wednesday at $26.10 – up $2.10 for a gain of 8.75 percent – on volume of about 35.0 million shares in its first day of NYSE trading.

BofA Securities and J.P. Morgan served as the lead joint book-runners. UBS Investment Bank and Wells Fargo Securities acted as lead book-running managers. HSBC and Morgan Stanley served as book-runners for the IPO.

Viking’s IPO was upsized twice in two days:

  • At pricing Tuesday night, the size was increased to 64.04 million shares – with 53.04 million shares coming from the selling shareholders TPG, the private equity firm, and CPP Investments, the Canada Pension Plan Board’s investing arm.

  • Early Monday morning, Viking’s IPO was raised to 53.04 million shares – with 42 million shares coming from the selling shareholders TPG and CPP Investments.

  • The IPO’s initial size was 44.0 million shares – with 33.0 million shares coming from the selling shareholders TPG and CPP Investments.

  • To recap, the selling shareholders TPG and CPP Investments added 20 million shares to their part of the IPO – from the terms of the initial filing to the deal’s size at pricing.

Viking offered only 11.0 million shares in the IPO. The company will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the selling shareholders’ stock.

The selling shareholders’ decision to increase their part of the deal is understandable, the IPO pros say.

TPG, the private equity powerhouse, had stepped in to help Viking weather the pandemic storm.

“Private equity wants to get paid,” a veteran IPO player says.

Cornerstone investor Norges Bank Investment Management, a division of Norges Bank, indicated an interest in buying up to $100 million of stock in the IPO, according to the SEC filing. That amounts to about 6.5 percent of the IPO.

Viking Holdings Ltd. (VIK Proposed), based in Pembroke, Bermuda, caters to an upscale clientele ages 55 and up. The company, founded in 1997 with four river vessels, now operates “a fleet of 92 small state-of-the-art ships, which we view as floating hotels,” the prospectus says. Viking’s cruise offerings include Mississippi River cruises, European river cruises and ocean voyages.

As part of its appeal to affluent Baby Boomers (born in the years 1946 through 1964), Viking posts on its website a list of what you won’t see on a Viking cruise. That list includes “No children under 18” and “No casinos.”

Viking is not profitable. The company reported a net loss of $1.86 billion on revenue of $4.71 billion for the year that ended Dec. 31, 2023.

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