TPG-backed Life Time's shares drop in bleak market debut

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REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Oct 7 (Reuters) - Fitness center operator Life Time's (LTH.N) return to public markets was met with a lukewarm response on Thursday, with shares opening 8% below their offer price, signaling investors remain cautious in the face of choppy trading in recent weeks.

The tepid debut shows that the market for initial public offering remains jittery even as the U.S. Senate has reached a deal to avert a potential debt default later this month.

While the truce fueled a rally in stocks on Thursday, markets could face another bout of volatility in December, when the debt limit reprieve is set to expire. read more

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Inflation worries, soaring energy prices and defaults at Chinese property developers tied to the fate of Evergrande (3333.HK) have also worried investors and added to wild price swings in markets.

Earlier in the day, exercise equipment maker iFIT postponed its U.S. IPO, citing market conditions. read more

Shares of Life Time, backed by private equity giant TPG, opened at $16.57, down from its IPO price of $18 per share. They rose slightly in afternoon trading, valuing the company at $3.46 billion.

"Even in an undoable market Life Time was able to pull together a massive IPO. And I think that speaks volumes to what my team has been able to build here," founder and Chief Executive Officer Bahram Akradi said.

Founded 30 years ago, Life Time provides health and fitness content to 1.4 million members. It doubled down on its digital offerings after the pandemic forced it to close all centers in March 2020.

Chanhassen, Minnesota-based Life Time was taken private by Leonard Green & Partners and TPG in a $4 billion deal in 2015.

Life Time raised $702 million in its downsized IPO.

Goldman Sachs & Co, Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities were the lead underwriters for the IPO.

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Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and Echo Wang in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel

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