UPDATE 2-Shares of tea retailer DavidsTea make hot U.S. debut

Fri Jun 5, 2015 3:00pm EDT
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(Adds CEO comments)

By Neha Dimri

June 5 (Reuters) - Shares of DavidsTea Inc, a specialty tea retailer that has grown rapidly in Canada and the United States since its founding in Montreal in 2008, rose as much as 39 percent in their U.S. debut, valuing the company at about $630 million.

The company's IPO raised about $97 million after the stock was priced at $19 per share, above the top end of the expected price range of $17-$18.

The stock hit a high of $27.24 in early trading on the Nasdaq on Friday.

DavidsTea is the second Canadian company to list on the U.S. exchange this year. E-commerce software maker Shopify Inc listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange last month.

DavidsTea sells more than 150 types of tea through 161 stores in North America, with a majority of them in Canada.

DavidsTea's most popular brews - which can be bought packaged or sipped in the store - include Buddha's Blend, an infusion of jasmine pearls, hibiscus blossoms and green tea.

Most of its teas sell for $7.00-$9.50 for a 50g pack, but Japanese gyokuro loose leaf teas sell for as much as $19.50.   Continued...