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Report: Wingstop preparing $100M IPO

Report: Wingstop preparing $100M IPO

The Roark-owned operator has met with underwriting banks, according to the Wall Street Journal

Wingstop Restaurants Inc. is considering a possible public offering to raise around $100 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Richardson, Texas-based Wingstop said in an email that, “The company does not comment on market rumors.” Wingstop is owned by private-equity firm Roark Capital Group, based in Atlanta.

The Wall Street Journal cited sources that said 670-unit Wingstop “has met with underwriting banks in recent weeks to discuss a potential IPO that could raise around $100 million, and could value the company at roughly $500 million.”

In September, Wingstop hired a new chief financial officer, Michael Mravle, who had prior public-company experience as U.S. chief financial officer for Tampa, Fla.-based Bloomin’ Brands Inc., parent to Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy’s.

Wingstop also moved its communications functions from a regional agency to a New York firm with extensive IPO experience.

Restaurants have played a sizable role in this year’s IPOs, with Plano, Texas-based Zoe’s Kitchen Inc. going public in April, Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc. making its debut in May and Dallas-based Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. going public earlier this month.

Wingstop ranked No. 3 in this year’s Nation’s Restaurant News top 10 growth chains, with $540.2 million in U.S. systemwide sales, an increase of 19.8 percent from 2012. In 2013, Wingstop opened 74 new restaurants. Estimated sales per domestic unit in the NRN census were $962,000, rising 9.1 percent from 2012.

Wingstop ended 2013 with 10 consecutive years of same-store sales growth. In its May 1 franchise disclosure document, the company said average unit volumes this year, based on systemwide sales last year, would be about $974,025 on a unit investment targeted at $400,000.

Wingstop was founded in 1994 and purchased by Roark Capital in 2010. It has restaurants in the United States, as well as Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia and Singapore, and locations being developed in the United Arab Emirates.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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