PORTLAND, Ore. (Gloomberg News) – Bakir’s Burqa Barn, a Portland, Oregon based religious clothing wholesaler and online retailer, Tuesday announced an initial public offering.
Bakir’s said it would sell shares to investors and use the proceeds to grow its business. A company news release stated that the firm plans to offer five million shares of stock priced at $25. In addition, Bakir’s has granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase another 75,000 shares of common stock at the initial public offering price to cover any over-allotments.
“Burqas and related clothing items for the faithful are flying off the shelves as fast as we can crank them out,” explained Bakir Maloof, Chief Executive Officer and principal owner of the 25 year old company. “The money we raise will allow us to grow and keep up with the volume of orders.”
Maloof said that recent victories by freedom fighters in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere have led to a huge new demand on his company’s services. “Recent territorial gains have posed a serious problem for the victorious fighters,” he said. “In a lot of the areas they’re liberating, women haven’t always worn the type of conservative clothing now being called for, and local supplies aren’t always on hand. That’s where we step in.”
Maloof said the severity and completeness of the required covering varies by region, and his company has garments appropriate for any country or sect. “We can ship anywhere in the world. And business has never been better.” He expects more orders to flood in as Islamic fighters continue to make gains globally.
The CEO denied rumors that the recent abductions of hundreds of girls in Nigeria have been responsible for a significant part of the increased demand. “We’ve only shipped a few units there,” he said. “But we do expect our Africa business to grow substantially over time.”
Maloof responded with annoyance to a question from Gloomberg News about whether his products contribute to the oppression of women. “People have the entirely wrong idea about religious clothing—burqas in particular,” he said. “They’re stereotyped as being dull, unfashionable, and hot. But we offer a wide variety of visually pleasing, comfort-designed garments in all kinds of colors—brilliant blue, florescent yellow, burgundy, purple, olive, kelly green, you name it. You can even get one in the flag colors of your favorite country.” He said that, perhaps surprisingly to some, burqas printed in the colors of the U.S. flag are one of his best sellers.
Maloof also expressed enthusiasm about some of the new products his company plans to offer. “We’ve just taken out a production license for a high capacity CD shredder,” he said. “It can destroy 200 CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs at a time, and we plan to offer it at a very competitive price. We’ve already taken several thousand dollars in pre-orders from the ISIS forces.”
The CEO also touted what he called a first of its kind incineration machine. “This thing mounts on the back of a pickup truck, and can burn up to 250 pounds of books and magazines at a time,” he said. “There’s nothing else like it on the market. It’s very fuel efficient—and best of all, it uses green pollution control technology designed to keep carbon and particulate emissions to a minimum.” Maloof said several groups of jihadists have expressed interest in the device.
The company press release stated the offering is scheduled to close on June 25, and is subject to the customary closing conditions.
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