Orange County Business Journal

El Pollo Loco Stock Debuts Strong

Paul Hughes Friday, July 25, 2014

El Pollo Loco’s IPO started on a strong note with a price at the top of its range and a 48% jump by midday

The Costa Mesa-based operator and franchisor of quick service broiled chicken restaurants planned to raise $100 million to pay off debt.

It has about $289 million in debt according to its SEC filings for the IPO.

El Pollo Loco offered 7.1 million shares at $15 each which were trading this morning above $22 for a market capitalization of about $655 million.

About 70% of the company is owned by private equity firms Trimaran Capital Partners in New York and Los Angeles-based Freeman Spogli & Co.

El Pollo Loco has more than 400 restaurants and has spent the last few years retooling store operations and its executive team under Chief Executive Steve Sather.

The stock trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “LOCO.”

The company had systemwide sales of $657.6 million last year.