Licensed merch powerhouse Funko has filed a registration statement for a proposed initial public offering of Class A common stock, the company announced.  The shares are to be traded under the ticker symbol FNKO on the NASDAQ exchange.  The number of shares and the share price have not been determined. 

A raft of blue chip bankers is on board to assist with the offering:

  • Goldman Sachs & Co LLC, J.P. Morgan and BofA Merrill Lynch are joint lead book-running managers and as representatives of the underwriters
  • Piper Jaffray and Jefferies are joint book-running managers
  • Stifel, BMO Capital Markets, and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey are co-managers

The company, whose sales are nearly the size of the entire comics and graphic novel business, has been prepping for an IPO or sales to a strategic acquirer this year (see “Funko Prepping for Possible IPO or Sale”).  It’s bulked up with acquisitions of Underground Toys (see “Funko Acquiring Underground Toys Assets”)and Loungefly (see “Funko Acquires Licensed Accessory Company”).  The largest retailer of Pop! Vinyl figures is now Gamestop (see “Who’s the Largest Retailer of Pop! Vinyl Figures?”).

The banking roster and its recent history bespeak a big valuation when the IPO happens -- could Funko be a billion dollar merch company?