DETROIT – The much talked about Rocket Mortgage initial public offering took flight Thursday and the launch was not as bright as initially intended.
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Rocket founder Dan Gilbert and CEO Jay Farner kicked off the trading day before going on CNBC to discuss the merger in Gilbert’s first national television appearance since his stroke. He gave insight into his health.
“It could have been worse,” Gilbert said. “Let’s put it that way but it took out my left side, so it was a right brain stroke.”
Investment banker Sheldon Stone of Amherst Partners said that was a critical part of the day’s events.
Part of Gilbert’s presentation included an assertion that Rocket Mortgage is more than meets the eye.
“We think we are a tech company that happens to do loans. We’ve said that forever and there’s a lot of years and years of effort by hundreds of people in that tech team,” Gilbert said. “We’re up to 2,500 technologies to build what you experience.”
“I think it’s close to half of what they initially intended,” Stone said. “And I say it’s good because I think it’s more realistic given the times we’re in.”
At 100 million shares, the IPO is one of Wall Street’s largest of the year and investors showed good interest. The stock started out at $18 a share and investors bid it up to just under $21 by the close.