Blue Buffalo IPO a hit with investors

Blue Buffalo, the pet food company headquartered in Wilton, is in the financial news today. The company reportedly has raised $676 million in its IPO, held on Wednesday, July 22.
The initial public offering priced nearly 34 million shares at $20, but the stock opened at $27. In addition, the company issued nearly 36,000 shares to approximately 1,700 non-management employees at no cost to them.
According to CNN Money, the maker of dog and cat food is valued at $5.3 billion. Blue Buffalo trades on the Nasdaq as BUFF.
Blue Buffalo, which markets itself as a healty alternative to mainstream pet foods, saw its sales jump from $190 million in 2010 to $918 million last year, according to CNN. It offers natural foods and treats for dogs and cats under the BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics and BLUE Freedom lines, and cat litter under the BLUE Naturally Fresh line.
The company was founded by Bill Bishop with his sons Billy and Chris in 2002. It is named for the Biships’ airedale Blue, whose health problems inspired Bishop to make a healthy, nourishing food for pets. According to the company’s website, BLUE dog and cat foods start with real chicken, lamb or fish with whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit. An important aspect of the food, the company says, is the addition of its exclusive comgination of vitamins, minearal and antioxidants it calls LifeSource Bits. BLUE foods are also free of poultry by-product meals,  and artificial preservatives, colors and flavors.
The company participates in many national and community events. Here at home, it is a leadership donor for the Norwalk River Valley Trail, and next door, Blue Buffalo was one of the sponsores of a benefit earlier this year that supported Ridgefield’s ROAR animal shelter.
Last year Blue Buffalo sponsored Home 4 the Holidays, a pet adoption campaign which found forever homes for one million dogs and cats throughout the world.
It is also the official sponsor of Dock Dogs, a competitive dock jumping performance sport for dogs of any shape, size or breed.