REFILE-UPDATE 1-TV maker VIZIO valued at $3.2 bln after opening 17% lower in NYSE debut

(Corrects to Update 1, from Urgent, in media packaging code with no changes to text)

March 24 (Reuters) - VIZIO Holding Corp was valued at $3.21 billion in its market debut on Thursday, after the television maker’s shares opened almost 17% below their offer price.

The stock opened at $17.50 per share compared with the offer price of $21 per share in VIZIO’s downsized IPO of 12.25 million shares earlier on Thursday. The company, which raised around $257 million in the IPO, had said it would sell 15.12 million shares, along with selling stockholders, priced between $21 and $23 apiece.

VIZIO, which makes televisions and speakers, was founded in 2002 by William Wang, one of the survivors of the Singapore Airlines Flight 006 that crashed in 2000.

Though devices are VIZIO’s chief business, the company said it recorded a stronger growth in 2020 for “Platform+”, its software segment. Platform+ includes VIZIO’s operating system, SmartCast, that allows access to streaming apps including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and data services provider Inscape.

The company belives this business is well-positioned to monetise the shift in entertainment consumption habits, as customers drift away from TVs to online subscription platforms.

“There’s a major shift in the industry, and it’s not just because of the pandemic. The pandemic of course accelerated that shift but we believe it’s gonna continue when things are back to normal as well,” Chief Executive Officer Wang said in an interview.

Half a dozen operating companies started trading on Thursday, as IPOs resurged this week after a flurry of blank-check deals. The TV maker was also approached by blank-checks for potential mergers, Wang said, declining to name the firms.

VIZIO in 2016 shelved its plans to go public after Chinese conglomerate LeEco offered a $2 billion buyout deal, which was later scrapped due to regulatory issues.

J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities were the lead underwriters for VIZIO’s offering.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi