Yeti Cools on Initial Public Offering Plan

The high-end cooler maker's IPO had been considered a "sure thing," but it decided not to proceed due to market conditions.
Matthew HellerMarch 27, 2018

Premium cooler and drinkware company Yeti has backed out of a planned initial public offering, citing market conditions.

Austin, Texas-based Yeti’s decision deprives investors of the opportunity to buy shares in a fast-growing company that made its name by selling Tundra coolers for $400 to $1,500 and announced in July 2016 it intended to go public.

“The company has determined at this time not to proceed with the offering due to market conditions,” Yeti said in a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission withdrawing its registration statement.

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According to the Austin Business Journal, market observers had touted Yeti’s IPO “as a sure thing, considering the Austin company had such a highly visible consumer brand.”

“The company was reportedly going for a $5 billion valuation, but in October 2016 Yeti was already getting skittish about the stock markets,” the Journal said.

Austin, Texas-based Yeti was founded in 2006 by brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders, keen outdoorsmen who, as Forbes reports, had become “so frustrated with poorly made coolers that they decided to build a a better product.”

“The increasing demand for our innovative products is evidenced by our net sales growth from $89.9 million in 2013 to $468.9 million in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 128%,” Yeti said in its IPO prospectus.

Gross profit increased to $92.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2016 from $22.5 million in the year-ago period. “Yeti has built a loyal fan base among sporting enthusiasts such as hunters and anglers who have embraced the brand for its range of products, including its heavily insulated, nearly indestructible coolers,” the Austin American-Statesman said.

Recent additions to Yeti’s product portfolio have included an injection-molded bucket (priced at $39.99 on its website), a tote bag called the Camino Carryall ($149.99), and an insulated backpack ($299.99).

Yeti sold a majority stake interest in 2012 to New York private equity firm Cortec Group for an undisclosed amount, allowing the Seiders brothers to cash out some of their equity stake in the company.