The Real Deal New York

Cushman & Wakefield stock rises in first day of public trading

Brokerage IPO’d at $17 per share, midway point of its pricing range
By Rich Bockmann | August 02, 2018 05:00PM

Cushman & Wakefield ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (Credit: Cushman & Wakefield)

Cushman & Wakefield’s stock finished its first day of trading Thursday up 4.76 percent from its initial public offering price of $17 per share.

The Chicago-based brokerage ended the day at $17.81 per share under the ticker CWK on the New York Stock Exchange, according to Yahoo Finance.

Cushman set its IPO price on Wednesday at $17 per share, which was the halfway point of the company’s pricing range.

Investors started trading shares Thursday morning at $18 apiece, at which point the stock dipped to about $17.50 per share around mid-morning before climbing back up near the opening price by late afternoon.

Cushman expected net proceeds of $719.3 million at the $17-a-share price, though the figure could climb to $931.5 million if the IPO’s underwriters exercise their option to buy additional shares.

Prior to the IPO, Chinese real estate firm China Vanke agreed to buy about 10.2 million shares — or roughly 5 percent of Cushman’s ownership — at the IPO price.

Cushman CEO Brett White rang a ceremonial bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and the company invited 14 employees from around the globe to kick off the day’s trading.

The stock exchange hung a banner outside its Wall Street headquarters with Cushman’s logo and the slogan, “What’s Next.”

White told CBNC in a video interview from the floor of the stock exchange that, “being public gives us a currency where we can accelerate our growth even above where it has been these years.”

A moment 101 years in the making.

A post shared by Cushman & Wakefield (@cushwake) on

Cushman employees, meanwhile, celebrated with viewing parties in their offices around the world, and the brokerage spent the day tweeting photos of the excitement.

The brokerage plans to use the majority of the proceeds from the IPO to pay down some $3 billion in debt that parent company TPG Capital loaded Cushman with when it bought the company in 2015.

Cushman’s debut follows the initial public offering that Newmark Knight Frank held back in December, which opened relatively flat compared to its $14-per-share offering price. Newmark stock peaked at $16.66 per share in early February, and finished trading Thursday at $13.35 per share, according to Yahoo Finance.