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Dutch Bros sets date for IPO, poised to be Oregon’s biggest

Mail Tribune File Photo I Dutch Bros. Coffee drive-up stands used to be a simple step up from a vending cart, but now they come complete with plumbing hook-ups and foundations like this one at Table Rock and Vilas roads.

Southern Oregon drive-thru coffee chain Dutch Bros has set Sept. 15 as the date for its initial public offering, when company shares will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BROS.”

It figures to be the biggest IPO in Oregon history, raising up to $484 million. The chain, based in Grants Pass, plans to use $200 million of the proceeds to pay down debt and will use other funds to buy back stock and grow the business. Dutch Bros said it will donate 1% of the IPO’s proceeds to charity over the next 10 years.

Founded in 1992, the company has grown from a single coffee pushcart to more than 480 stores across the West. Dutch Bros said in filings associated with its IPO that it hopes someday to have 4,000 shops.

Beyond simple Americanos, Dutch Bros features an array of frothy beverages, cold brews and energy drinks. The company said in its regulatory filings that its Blue Rebel energy drinks accounted for nearly a quarter of its sales last year.

Dutch Bros said this week that it plans to sell shares for between $18 and $20 apiece. It plans to price the shares on the night of Sept. 14, according to the New York Stock Exchange’s public calendar.

At the top end of the price range, the business would be worth $3.3 billion and would be Oregon’s seventh-most-valuable public company.

Co-founder Travis Boersma, Dutch Bros’ executive chairman, would own 43% of its stock after the IPO — worth as much as $1.4 billion.

In filings this week, the company outlined an unusual stock structure that would give Boersma 74% of the company’s voting power. The company’s charter also contains provisions that would make it difficult for an outside firm to mount a hostile takeover.

Such provisions might give investors pause. And newly public companies sometime struggle as they adapt to the public markets and Wall Street’s expectations.

Dutch Bros has been growing rapidly, with sales climbing 27% last year to $327.4 million. Sales were up 51% through the first six months of 2021.

Profits fell sharply last year, though, from $28.4 million in 2019 to $5.8 million in 2020. Financial filings indicate Dutch Bros’ spending to operate and run the business jumped enormously last year amid the tremendous expansion.