Bojangles Inc. could raise as much as $170 million in its initial public offering, after increasing Wednesday the expected range of its IPO price to $18 to $19 per share.
If Bojangles stock is sold at the peak of that range, the company would raise $147.3 million, or $169.4 million, if underwriters exercise their option to buy additional shares.
The stock had been priced at an expected range of $15 to $17, but expectations can change considerably in the days and weeks leading up to an IPO. The increase in the offering size is an indication that interest in the chicken operator’s stock is strong. Bojangles is scheduled to go public Friday.
At $19 a share, Bojangles would have a market cap of more than $700 million if underwriters exercise their option.
Advent International, the private-equity group that owns Bojangles, is selling most of the shares and will receive the bulk of the proceeds.
Restaurant and consumer stocks have been popular among investors in recent years, and restaurant IPOs have frequently generated considerable interest. Companies like The Habit Restaurants Inc. and Shake Shack Inc. saw their stock prices more than double during the first day of trading in their recent IPOs.
More restaurant companies are getting in line. Dallas-based chicken wing chain Wingstop Inc. filed documents for an IPO, which would be the fourth offering this year after Shake Shack, Bojangles and Fogo De Chao Inc.
Bojangles hopes to carve its own niche as a relatively unique operator, a bone-in chicken concept with a big breakfast business. The company has 635 units that have average unit volumes of $1.8 million. According to SEC documents, 38 percent of the company’s business comes before 11 a.m.
Same-store sales at the chain have grown for 19 straight quarters, while revenue has increased an average of 12.8 percent a year from 2011 through 2014, to $430.5 million.
Same-store sales in the first quarter ended March 29 rose between 7.6 percent and 7.9 percent.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Securities, Jefferies, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Piper Jaffray, William Blair, KeyBanc Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets are joint bookrunners on the IPO.