Chuy’s Headed Toward IPO

Shares of the Tex-Mex chain are expected to sell for $11 to $13. 
Fri July 13, 2012 12:32 am
Flickr | jdhancock

Want a piece of Chuy's burgeoning chips and queso empire? Well, now you can have one.

For its $70 million initial public offering, the Austin-based restaurant chain plans to sell some 5.8 million shares for $11 to $13 each, according to IPO Scoop . Chuy's filed for an IPO last August, according to the Statesman.

And the company will have an easy-to-remember ticker symbol on NASDAQ: CHUY, according to 24/7 Wall St .

Chuy's, founded in Austin in 1982, now operates 36 total locations, 23 of which are in Texas. The others are sprinkled throughout seven other states (Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana, and Florida).

According to Reuters, Chuy's is well positioned to have a successful IPO:

"Restaurant chains that will do well in the public markets are those with a distinct product, are known for their outrageous portion sizes, have reasonable prices, and fast growth," said Scott Sweet, managing partner at IPO Boutique, an initial public offering research firm.

Sweet said Chuy's, a regional chain that plans to nearly triple in size by the end of 2016, best fits that bill.

The restaurant industry has been on the upswing as a stabilizing economy makes it easier for diners to splurge on meals away from home and moderating food costs take stress off operators. This has opened the window for deals after a long drought in restaurant IPOs.

Chuy's has seen massive growth over the last few years: Chuy's annual revenue was $138.9 million last fiscal year, up from $42.1 million in 2007, according to 24/7 Wall St .

By the end of 2016, Chuy's hopes to have opened 85 locations.

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