Kraton Performance IPO another blow to market

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2009 12:07 PM

Kraton Performance Polymers Inc.'s initial public offering fell flat as the company failed to fetch its desired price for the stock, and the shares only rose slightly in their trading debut.

The poor performance was yet another blow to the IPO market, which began heating up in September, but has recently lost steam. The market had dried up during the financial crisis.

Kraton, which makes polymers for a wide range of products from adhesives to automobiles sold 10.3 million common shares for $13.50 each. Kraton had hoped for them to price between $16 and $18.

This week, two other initial stock offerings priced below expectations and a third, National Beef Inc., on Thursday in a short statement said it was postponing its offering due to weakness in the IPO market.

Of the eight IPOs set to go public last week, half did not launch and three priced below expectations or traded lower than their offering price.

Kraton shares were up 2 cents to $13.52, in midday trading. They peaked at $13.84 immediately after trading opened, but later gave back gains. Broader markets were also lower. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1 percent.

Kraton plans to use proceeds from the offering to pay down debt and to build its production capability.