Ravenswood sold 1 million shares -- representing a 22 percent stake in the winery -- at $10.50 per share. The money will be used to expand the winery's facilities and to increase its production. The stock now trades on the NASDAQ market under the symbol RVWD; on Friday, the first day of open trading, it closed slightly up, at a price of $10.88.
San Francisco-based W.R. Hambrecht & Co., a boutique investment firm, underwrote Ravenswood's offering. Through the company's new OpenIPO system, the price and allocation of the winery's shares were determined through an online auction at www.openipo.com. The system is intended to give the same access to individuals as it does to institutional investors; shares go to the highest bidder instead of to preferred investors.
Ravenswood was founded in 1976 by Joel Peterson, who remains the winemaker. In 1981, he was joined by CEO Reed Foster, who provided financial backing to expand operations. In addition to its well-known Zinfandel, Ravenswood makes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
For more on Ravenswood's IPO:
To read about other wineries that have gone public:
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