Bojangles’ IPO prices at $19 per share, high end of range-Reuters

(Reuters) Chicken-and-biscuits restaurant chain Bojangles’ Inc said its initial public offering of common shares was priced at $19, valuing the company at about $680 million. (35,903,836 shares outstanding).

The fast-casual restaurant chain’s IPO raised about $147 million, with the majority of the proceeds going to its controlling shareholder, private equity firm Advent International Corp.

The offering of 7.75 million shares was priced at the high end of the expected range of $18 to $19 per share, up from the initial range of $15 to $17.

The IPO follows the successful listing of hamburger chain Shake Shack Inc in January.

The chicken and biscuits-centered menu of Bojangles’, which records nearly 40 percent of its sales before 11 in the morning, has remained largely unchanged since the company was founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1977.

The company has 622 restaurants, of which about 60 percent are franchised.

The average check was $6.68 at company-operated restaurants in 2014.

Bojangles’ revenue rose about 15 percent to $430.5 million in 2014, while net income rose 7.4 percent to $26 million.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Securities and Jefferies were the lead underwriters of the offering.

The company’s common stock is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “BOJA” on Friday.