Camping World raises $251 million in IPO

(Reuters) - The largest U.S. recreational vehicle dealer, Camping World Holdings Inc CWH.N, said it raised $251 million in an initial public offering on Thursday.

The IPO came as more baby boomers, the biggest buyers of motorized homes, are retiring and selling their property to travel across the United States in the vehicles.

Camping World said in a statement that it priced 11.4 million shares at $22 apiece, the midpoint of its indicated range of $21 and $23.

The retiring large generation of baby boomers, born in 1946-1964, has helped the truck, tractor and trailing industry grow 7.5 percent over the past five years, according to data research organization IBIS World.

Millennials, born in 1980 through 2000, are a growing market, as they prefer to spend on experiences and adventure over material goods. They tend to buy smaller recreational vehicles with retro designs, but are equipped with Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

“Virtually anything you can think of, people use their R.V.s to do, because it is comfortable and convenient,” said Kevin Broom, a spokesman for the R.V. Industry Association.

Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Camping World, founded in 1966, is headed by Chief Executive Marcus Lemonis, star of the CNBC TV reality show “The Profit.” The company operates 120 retail locations in 36 states under the banners Camping World and Good Sam.

Lemonis, who co-owns Camping World with private equity firm Crestview Partners, will maintain “substantial control” over the company through his ownership of ML Acquisition and ML R.V. Group, according to the IPO registration statement.

Camping World generated about $3.3 billion in sales last year, up from $1.5 billion in 2011. It will use proceeds from the IPO to pay down its $695 million in long-term debt and for general corporate purposes.

Camping World will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “CWH” as of Friday.

The underwriters are Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N, JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N, Bank of American Corp BAC.N and Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.S.

Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Richard Chang