IRVINE, Calif. -- PIA Merchandising Services here, the nation's largest third-party merchandising firm, has plans to go public.
The company announced an initial public stock offering of 2.25 million shares in February. The preliminary prospectus indicated an estimated share price of between $13 and $15.
If the offering is successful, PIA stock would be the only "pure play" currently traded in the merchandising services sector. (However, several of its major competitors are divisions of larger public companies, including Actmedia, a division of Heritage Media.)
Paine Webber Inc. and Furman Selz, both New York investment houses, are the underwriters of the offering.
According to the prospectus, PIA's net revenues were $104.8 million in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 1995, an increase of 30% vs. 1994, when the company posted $80.4 million. Net income was $3.5 million in 1995, up from $2.6 million a year before.
PIA currently does business with about 200 brand marketers, according to the prospectus, including S.C. Johnson Wax, Colgate-Palmolive, Lever Bros., Ralston Purina, Dial Corp. and Hormel Foods. It also lists among its retailer clients Thrifty PayLess, Richfood, Safeway, Vons and Edwards Super Food Stores.
The company currently performs services in approximately 22,500 retail grocery stores. It estimates that these stores currently sell, in aggregate, approximately 75% of the grocery all-commodity volume nationwide. It also covers some 7,500 mass merchandisers and chain drug stores.