BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) said Friday it sold $70 million in common shares to Act III Holdings and T. Rowe Price-advised funds.

Act III was formed by Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich, who was also the former Panera chair and CEO.

The investment helps boost BJ’s liquidity as the restaurant operator slowly begins reopening locations in states that have lifted stay-at-home orders. The company had said last month its large restaurant footprints will be useful with social distancing protocols remaining in place as businesses reopen.

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BJ's said last month its sales declines peaked in the week ended March 24, when comparable sales were off 82%. It’s seen improvement since then with delivery and takeout growth, where check size and traffic have notched gains.

BJ’s closed the week at about $20 a share and a $375 million market cap.

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