Pacific Sunwear Goes Public With $26-Million Offering

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. became a publicly owned company Tuesday by offering stock at $13 per share.

The Santa Ana company offered 1.4 million shares, while its existing shareholders offered an additional 600,000 shares. The offering raised $26 million.

After paying legal fees and commissions, Pacific Sunwear cleared $16 million.

Chief Financial Officer Carl W. Womack said the company went public to fund an expansion and to remodel existing stores. "We plan to open 20 stores in 1993, half of them in the Northeast and half of them in California," he said.

Pacific Sunwear stock closed Tuesday at $15.75 on the NASDAQ.

The chain specializes in casual wear for young men ages 12 to 25. A mall-based retailer, its merchandise is heavy on T-shirts, shorts, hats and sunglasses.

The 11-year-old company operates 47 stores in California--six of which are in Orange County--and 13 in six other states.

Womack said the company enjoyed a lucrative year in 1992, prompting it to seek financing via Wall Street. Last year, Pacific Sunwear had sales of $45.8 million and a profit of $3 million.

Industry watcher Paul Holmes said that Pacific Sunwear managed to prosper despite the recession through "creative marketing and merchandising of its stores."

"It has been very astute in keeping up with contemporary trends," said Holmes, former associate publisher of Action Sports Retailer, a trade magazine. "They've shown a clever approach to giving today's customers what they want."

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