Business

Bojangles’ prices shares at $19

Bojangles’, known for its biscuits, fried chicken and sweet tea, begins trading on the NASDAQ exchange Friday.
Bojangles’, known for its biscuits, fried chicken and sweet tea, begins trading on the NASDAQ exchange Friday. tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-based Bojangles’, which is slated to go public on Friday, has priced its shares at $19.

Responding to investor demand, the fast-food chain this week upped the number of shares it’ll sell in its initial public offering to 7.75 million. If banks underwriting the IPO exercise an option to buy an extra 1.6 million shares, the offering could raise $169 million.

Bojangles’ shares are expected to begin trading Friday on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “BOJA.”

The proceeds from the offering are going to certain Bojangles’ shareholders selling the stock, not the company itself. The company’s biggest shareholder, private equity firm Advent International, could sell up to 8.4 million shares.

Only select big investors, including mutual funds and pension funds, will be able to buy the stock at the IPO price, but when trading begins, ordinary investors can buy the stock.

Known for its chicken and biscuits, Bojangles’ started in Charlotte in 1977 and operates 622 restaurants in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Two-thirds of its restaurants are in the Carolinas.

After its IPO, the company wants to expand the number of locations by 7 to 8 percent a year, mostly in markets in which it’s already concentrated, according to a securities filing last month. That would add up to 50 stores in the next year, and more each year after that.

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Twitter: @katieperalta

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