REUTERS

(REUTERS)

Virgin America IPO priced at $23/shr-underwriter

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Virgin America Inc's initial public offering was priced at $23 per share, according to an underwriter, valuing the low-cost airline, partly owned by Richard Branson, at $993.6 million.

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The IPO raised about $307 million after it was priced slightly below the top end of the expected range of $21-$24 per share.

Of the 13.3 million shares on offer, Virgin America sold 13.1 million, while the rest came from the selling stockholders.

Virgin America is the U.S. offshoot of Branson's London-based Virgin Group, which has a sizeable presence in a number of business across UK including airlines, railways, telecommunications, media and hospitality.

Branson, through VX Holdings LP, will own 24.8 percent stake in the airline after the offering. Hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners LP with 32.8 percent is the biggest shareholder.

The airline is quite popular among travelers as it offers wi-fi, leather seats, mood lighting and a media-rich inflight entertainment system.

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Virgin America earned $10.5 million on revenue of $1.42 billion in 2013, its first profitable year since it started flying in 2007.

The company is expected to debut on the Nasdaq under the symbol "VA" on Friday.

Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank Securities were among the underwriters of the offering. (Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)