initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Korean barbecue concept GEN Restaurant Group files for IPO

GEN Restaurant Group Inc., which owns the 32-unit GEN Korean BBQ House concept, has filed for an initial public offering, joining a small list of brands seeking funds in the public markets this year.

The Cerritos, Calif.-based casual-dining company, in Securities and Exchange Commission Form S-! registration documents filed May 26, did not yet set the number of shares, a share price or a timetable for the Korean barbecue concept.

In the 12 months ended March 31, the company said it had revenues of $169 million and average unit volumes of $6 million. As of May 26, it had restaurants in six states, including its home state of California as well as Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, New York and Texas.

GEN Korean BBQ was founded in 2011 in Tustin, Calif., by Jae Chang and David Kim. Kim was the owner of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill and La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill, which he sold to and bought back from The Wendy’s Co. over a four-year period. In 2016, Kim sold both brands to the MTY Food Group Inc., a Montreal-based restaurant operator, in a $27 million deal.

Because GEN Restaurant Group had less than $1.07 billion in revenue during its last fiscal year, it qualifies as an emerging growth company, or EGC, and has limited disclosure requirements, the company noted.

The GEN Korean BBQ House concept allows customers to cook their own food.

The company plans to list on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol "GENK."

The sole book-running manager on the public offering is Roth Capital Partners with the Craig-Hallum Capital Group and The Benchmark Co. as co-managers.

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