Canada Goose shares fly in first day of trading; investors include animal-rights group PETA

Canada Goose, the Toronto-based retailer of luxury parkas loved by celebrities, now has a market value of about $2.3-billion (Canadian).

The company debuted on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges Thursday in an initial public offering of $17 a share, which were gobbled up by hungry investors, closing at $21.53 in Toronto. It opened at $18 on the NYSE, closing at $16.08.

The IPO, by all measures, was wildly successful pumping millions into the company.

But it was also controversial.

The purveyor of the pricey parkas has long faced criticism from animal-rights activists over the use of coyote fur as decorative trim on the hood. Complaints focus on how the animals are trapped and killed.

And, those activists didn’t stand by quietly as Canada Goose started trading in New York and Toronto.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ended up buying about $4,000 in stock, the organization told CNBC.

“The shares purchased will be the minimum amount required to give PETA the right to attend and speak at annual meetings, and to submit shareholder resolutions asking for the company to stop using coyote fur trim and down in its jackets,” the group said in a statement.

And, supporters around the globe were on hand to protest the occasion.

The company, which started in a small warehouse in 1957, has defended its practises.

In its IPO filing the company said it only buys from humane suppliers:

“We are committed to the sustainable and ethical sourcing of our raw materials. We have introduced comprehensive traceability programs for fur and down throughout our supply chain which we expect will be fully in effect during the spring of 2017. We only use down that is a byproduct of the poultry industry and we only purchase down and fur from suppliers who adhere to our stringent standards regarding fair practices and humane treatment of animals.”

After the IPO, the Toronto Star reported that Chief executive officer Dani Reiss said the company won’t bow to pressure.

“We’re not looking to change our plans (to use fur) in response to a loud but vocal minority,” Reiss said, adding that the company also makes jackets without fur.

“We know that wearing different products is a personal choice and we offer products for everybody,” the newspaper reported.


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