Keith Companies Raises $13.5 Million With IPO


Keith Companies, a Costa Mesa engineering and technical services firm, made its Wall Street debut Tuesday, raising about $13.5 million in an initial public stock offering.

The company sold 1.5 million shares at $9 apiece, in the middle of the price range it had hoped for. Keith shares also closed at $9 on the Nasdaq National Market, after slipping as low as $8.88 and climbing as high as $11.50 during the day.

Keith, founded in 1983, has more than 450 employees and eight offices in three states. The company provides a host of engineering and technical services, including environmental permitting and flood control.

Proceeds from the offering will be used to fund the acquisition of Thompson-Hysell Inc., a Modesto firm that provides real estate services in central and northern California and Utah; to repay debt; and for general corporate purposes.

Wedbush Morgan Securities of Los Angeles was the lead underwriter of the offering, in which some of the shares were distributed via the Internet.

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