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Viscoelastic mattress maker Tempur-Pedic starts share sale

By Liz White, UT contributing editor

Lexington, Kentucky-Tempur-Pedic International Inc., a maker of viscoelastic polyurethane foam products, is selling 18.75 million shares in its initial public offering. At $14.00 per share, the IPO could raise a total of $262.5 million. Tempur-Pedic itself is selling 6.25 million, and company shareholders 12.5 million, of the shares.

The shares will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TPX.

Tempur-Pedic makes premium mattresses and pillows using its proprietary Tempur viscoelastic foam and sells them in 54 countries.

Tempur is set to gain $81.8 million from the IPO, before transaction costs and will use the proceeds to pay down debt, including some $52.5 million to various subsidiaries.

Tempur-Pedic was bought by two American equity firms-TA Associates and Friedmann, Fleischer & Lowe-from previous owner Swedish foam producer Fagerdala World Foams in 2002.

Fagerdala acquired the viscoelastic Tempur technology in 1989 when it bought small Danish foam maker Dan Foam, the company who developed the large-scale process for making the viscoelastic foam.

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