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Retail

Online home goods retailer Wayfair valued at $3 billion in debut

(Reuters) - Wayfair Inc's W.N shares rose as much as 27 percent in their market debut on Thursday, valuing the online home furnishings retailer at about $3.06 billion.

Wayfair co-chairman and co-founder Steve Conine rings a ceremonial bell in front of fellow co-chairman and co-founder Niraj Shah to mark the company's IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The company's debut comes after the blockbuster listing of Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N in New York and the strong debut of Europe's largest online fashion retailer Zalando SE ZALG.DE in Frankfurt.

Boston-based Wayfair operates websites such as jossandmain.com, dwellstudio.com and birchlane.com, offering more than 7 million products under its own brands.

The U.S. home goods market is expected to grow to $297 billion by 2023 from about $233 billion last year, Wayfair said in a regulatory filing.

Online retailers accounted for about 7 percent of this, the company said.

Wayfair competes mainly with Williams-Sonoma Inc WSM.N, the operator of potterybarn.com and PBteen.com.

It also competes with brick and mortar retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond Inc BBBY.O, Lowe's Cos Inc LOW.N and Target Corp TGT.N as well as online sellers including Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O and eBay Inc EBAY.O.

Wayfair’s offering of 11 million class A common shares raised about $319 million. The company sold 10.5 million shares in the offering, which was priced at $29 per share, above the expected range of $25-$28.

Wayfair, previously called CSN Stores LLC, was founded in 2002 as an online seller of furniture. At the time, the company retailed its items through hundreds of product-specific websites including bedroomfurniture.com and allbarstools.com.

In 2011, it consolidated its operations and changed its name.

Private equity firm Great Hill Partners holds a 11.04 percent stake in Wayfair, with private equity firms Battery Ventures and HarbourVest Partners being its other shareholders.

Wayfair’s revenue rose 52 percent to $915.8 million in 2013. The company’s net loss narrowed to $15.5 million from about $21 million a year earlier.

The company’s shares were up 22.9 percent at $35.65 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock opened at $36 and hit a high of $37.

Goldman Sachs & Co, BofA Merrill Lynch and Citigroup are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey

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