The largest private-equity-backed initial public offering of the year made it out of the gate on Thursday, although the I.P.O. was smaller than expected.
Shares of drug maker Warner Chilcott Holdings priced at $15 apiece late Wednesday, below the forecast range of $17 to $19. The company sold 70.6 million shares, putting the value of the offering at $1.06 billion. Still, the price represented a heady profit — on paper, at least — for the company’s private equity sponsors, Bain Capital, DLJ Merchant Banking, J.P. Morgan Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners. Regulatory filings show that these shareholders paid an average of just $5.77 a share for their stake in the company, which they took private in late 2004. About 31 percent of the company was sold in Thursday’s I.P.O.