When Nova LifeStyle Inc. announced its stock would move to one of the main exchanges, investors got comfortable with the Commerce furniture maker’s shares.

Nova announced Jan. 14 that an application submitted to Nasdaq last year was approved this month, and that the company was scheduled to make its debut Jan. 17.

The announcement signaled a stable future for Nova and helped the stock, trading over-the-counter, shoot up 50 percent to close at $6.81 on Jan. 15, making it the top gainer on the LABJ Stock Index. (See page 26). Shares rose another 30 percent the next day to close at $8.85.

“It is exciting news and an achievement for us at Nova LifeStyle,” said Tawmy Lam, the company’s president. She added that investors now see “more stability and certainly that there is growth in the company.”

The company was scheduled to be listed under the ticker NVFY on the Nasdaq Global Market – the second of three Nasdaq tiers generally used for mid-cap companies.

Nova operates furniture manufacturing plants in China and makes products for its own stores, as well as Swedish retailer Ikea and others.

Nova specializes in urban contemporary furniture designed for city dwellers – Ikea, for example – and also distributes to retailers including Living Spaces, Rooms to Go and Nebraska Furniture Mart. Nova also manufactures luxury mattresses in Commerce for sale in China.

The company’s path to a Nasdaq listing began years ago. In 2011, Nova Furniture, a manufacturer in Dongguan, China, bought a Nevada shell corporation and the parent of Diamond Sofa, a Commerce distributor and furniture brand founded by Lam and her husband.

Through the acquisition of the Nevada company Nova went public and later established Nova LifeStyle as a holding company for its various businesses.

The company has recently added board members and created audit and compensation committees to comply with Nasdaq requirements.

With its Nasdaq listing, Nova plans to expand its distribution network to new retailers in the United States and China.

Lam said she will present Nova’s furniture to about 100 retailers at a Las Vegas trade show this week.

The company also plans to raise about $10 million to $15 million in a secondary stock offering, Lam said. That money will go to expanding its e-commerce business in China. The company will also look to acquire other Chinese furniture manufacturers.

“The secondary offering will be concentrating on e-commerce in China,” she said. “The Chinese business is growing tremendously.”

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