NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Charlie Shaver, CEO of Axalta Coating Systems (AXTA) - Get Report , called his company "one of the leading coatings companies in the world," as it made its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange. 

The stock priced at $19.50 per share and opened at $20.94. Currently, shares are trading between those two levels. 


Axalta Coating Systems AXTA Price data by YCharts

Image placeholder title

While the company does do a lot of business for new cars, heavy duty trucks and buses, and for industrial fleets, investors shouldn't forget about the collision space. Shaver explained that the company has over 17,000 body shops across the country, which is a significant part of the business. 

The company also has the longest running relationship with NASCAR, one that runs so deep that well-known racer Jeff Gordon was on the floor of NYSE during the event. The relationship with NASCAR is great, Shaver said, adding that it's also an excellent marketing tool. 

The company is finally seeking its IPO, after previously being own by Dupont (DD) - Get Report and more recently CarlyleGroup (CG) - Get Report . By being privately-held, Axalta was able to focus on global expansion, while not being restricted by the pressures associated with being a public company, he said. 

But now that it is public, the company can work on reducing its $4 billion debt load over the next several years, while still taking advantage of low interest rates and a high free-cash flow business, Shaver concluded. 

- Written by Bret Kenwell

Follow @BretKenwell