NEW YORK – Don’t put Levi’s jeans in the washing machine, or the freezer. That’s the word from Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh as the company began trading on Wall Street after a 33-year absence.
Shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange near $22 per share when the market opened Thursday. That beat expectations, giving Levi’s a market value of $8.7 billion.
This is the second time the 166 year old company has gone public. It first debuted in 1971 but went private in 1885.
Thursday’s return to the market was part of an effort to increase investment in China and expand into new categories.
Bergh made headlines at an event in 2014 when he said he’s never washed his jeans. He said Thursday it’s an old wives tale that freezing jeans helps to kill the bacteria that might make them smell.