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It's Bo Time, as Bojangles' Plans its IPO


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After filing its intent to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 6, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits is the latest publicly traded franchise brand to, in all likelihood, become a stock market darling. 

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering has yet to be determined, however the Advent International Corp-backed company has applied to list its common stock on the NASDAQ market under the symbol “BOJA”.

Its IPO was widely anticipated, with The Wall Street Journal reporting in November that the company had tapped banks to pursue its initial public offering. That article cited “people familiar with the talks” saying its value could approach $1 billion.

Bojangles’ had system-wide sales of more than $1 billion in 2014. It has also seen 19 continuous quarters of comparable restaurant sales growth, including 7 percent during Q4 2014. The company has increased its total revenues from $299.9 million in fiscal 2011 to $430.5 million in fiscal 2014.

With such rosy numbers, it’s likely that BOJA will follow in the steps of Shake Shack, Habit Restaurants and El Pollo Loco, which all recently went public and saw significant share price gains during the initial market freak-out. 

Checking in on Shake Shack, its massive IPO pop deflated quite quickly. In the subsequent months, SHAK's share price gradually crept back to $50. Habit spiked into the mid 40's in mid-December, but has since settled in the low 30's. Since its high-trading-volume time in the sun last summer, El Pollo Loco lingered in the high 20's. 

So what this means for Bojangles' remains to be seen, but the pattern suggests a lot of glowing press, a huge immediate jump, more glowing press, and then a return to reality for a company that appears poised for solid revenue growth in the years ahead. 

I love watching this stuff play out.

   — Tom Kaiser

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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