ADS launches public trading on NYSE

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Advanced Drainage Systems Advanced Drainage Systems pipe going into place at Citi Field.

Advanced Drainage Systems, the world’s largest producer of thermoplastic corrugated pipe, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today with 14.5 million shares offered at $16 to raise $232 million.

Listed under the ticker symbol WMS, the initial public offering (IPO) for the company that makes high-performance pipes for water management solutions was priced below the expected $17-$19 range.

ADS now commands a $1.6 billion enterprise value, according to IPO watchers at Renaissance Capital.

Officials from the company based in Hilliard, Ohio, rang the bell to signal the start of trading for July 25, which opened lower because of weak earnings reports from Amazon and political unrest in Gaza and Ukraine.

In a week with 14 IPOs, ADS made several pick lists for its history of profitability, presence in numerous geographic areas, and stable management.

ADS has 48 manufacturing plants and 19 distribution centers to serve customers needing plastic pipes and related products like septic and storm chambers for construction and infrastructure projects. Products ship to a radius of about 200 miles and this national availability is considered an edge in serving major customers.

ADS pipes are made of high density polyethylene and polypropylene. The market for HDPE pipe is poised to grow as it is approved for more uses.

So far, 2014 is on track to be one of the best years for new stock issues. ADS was the second largest IPO of the week. Proceeds will be used to repay outstanding debt of at least $82.9 million.