Vitamin retailer GNC rises 4.7 percent in NYSE debut

NEW YORK Fri Apr 1, 2011 4:33pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of GNC Holdings Inc (GNC.N), a U.S. retailer of wellness and nutrition products, rose in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Friday after its IPO priced at midpoint of the proposed range.

GNC shares gained 4.7 percent, finishing their first day of trading on NYSE at $16.75 after pricing at $16 in the company's third attempt at a public offering.

GNC, seller of vitamins, herbal supplements and sports nutrition products, first said it was planning an IPO last September after an acquisition by China's Bright Food Group fell through early in the year.

Apollo Global Management (APO.N), GNC's previous owner, had tried to take GNC public twice before selling the store chain to Ares Management LLC and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board in 2007.

Ares planned to sell 2.4 million shares in the IPO, while OTPP planned to sell 3 million shares. The IPO was expected to sell 22.5 million shares in total for $15 to $17 each.

If underwriters exercise their overallotment option, Ares and OTPP's combined voting power in GNC is expected to decrease by about a quarter to roughly 66 percent.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan led underwriters on the IPO.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Derek Caney, Gary Hill)

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