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Jimmy John's CEO Abandons IPO Plan, Notes 'Table Was Set'

Jimmy John's CEO Abandons IPO Plan, Notes 'Table Was Set'
  • Jimmy John's is a popular sandwich chain with more than 2,000 locations across the US.
  • The company's CEO Jimmy John Liautaud spent the past two years exploring a potential IPO.
  • The executive scrapped an initial public offering, noting the "table was set" but he isn't "comfortable" in Wall Street.

Investors have shown a tremendous appetite for restaurant new offerings. Shares of Shake Shack Inc (NYSE: SHAK) more than doubled during its first day as a public company, as did Noodles & Co (NASDAQ: NDLS).

Following its IPO, shares of Shake Shack flew to nearly $100 per share, but lost momentum as the company failed to live up to Wall Street's rigorous standards. Investors also similarly turned away from Noodles as shares recently hit an all-time low of $10.12 after pricing its IPO at $18 back in 2013.

Jimmy John's CEO, Jim Liautaud, was likely monitoring these offerings and played a part in his decision to abandon an IPO of his sandwich chain that he founded back in 1983.

"I don't think my wheelhouse is comfortable in Wall Street," Liautaud told Bloomberg. "My wheelhouse is small-town America."

Bloomberg noted that Morgan Stanley was acting as lead book runner for a public offering ad valued the company at around $2 billion, which is substantially higher than Noodles' current $304 million valuation and Shake Shack's $1.6 billion valuation.

Jimmy John's current plans include opening an additional 1,300 restaurants across the US over the next five years. The company may have been eyeing an offering to raise the necessary funds to expand, as Liautaud noted, the "table was all set." Road shows were scheduled for earlier in the year, but the executive scrapped the plans to better focus on what he does best – managing the sandwich chain in a difficult environment for restaurants.

"I need to be here balancing all the dishes that are spinning," he also told Bloomberg.

Image credit: Nate Grigg, Flickr


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Posted-In: Fast Food IPO Jimmy John Liautaud Jimmy John'sNews Restaurants IPOs General Best of Benzinga

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