initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Potbelly hires bankers for potential IPO

(Reuters) — Potbelly Sandwich Shop, a restaurant chain that sells submarine sandwiches and shakes, has hired bankers for a potential initial public offering next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Potbelly, whose backers include Starbucks Corp. founder Howard Schultz and private-equity firm American Securities, has selected Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America to lead its planned IPO, two of the people said.

The Chicago-based chain, known for its vintage decor and live music, has over 260 shops around the United States, according to its website. In 2011, the chain expanded internationally by opening in Dubai.

The people asked not to be named because the discussions are not public. Potbelly could not be immediately reached for comment. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and American Securities declined to comment.
Founded in 1977 by its chairman, Bryant Keil, Potbelly has roughly $250 million in revenue, one of the people said.

The original Potbelly opened on Chicago’s Lincoln Avenue in 1977, and was sold to Bryant Kiel in 1996. Within nine years Kiel had expanded its footprint out to 100 locations, and 200 locations by 2008. Now run by Aylwin Lewis, it’s on track to open its 300th location this year. The chain specializes in toasted sandwiches, and now has locations in 18 states, Washington D.C., and 12 in the Middle East. In 2012, total revenue increased 15.5 percent, to $274.9 million.

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