El Pollo Loco Raises $107 Million in Initial Offering

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc., the fast-casual restaurant known for its fire-grilled chicken, raised $107 million in its U.S. initial public offering, pricing the shares at the top end of the marketed range.

The company, based in Costa Mesa, California, sold 7.1 million shares for $15 each, according to a statement yesterday, after offering them for $13 to $15. The shares will begin trading today, listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol LOCO.

At the IPO price, El Pollo Loco has a market value of about $538 million, according to the original terms of the offering in the prospectus. The company will use the proceeds to repay debt.

Fast-casual restaurants have had a tough time on U.S. exchanges this year. Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc. has dropped more than 18 percent since the Vancouver, Washington-based pizza chain had its debut in May. Potbelly Corp. (PBPB), the Chicago-based sandwich restaurant, has fallen 17 percent since pricing its October IPO.

The Bloomberg U.S. Quick Service Restaurant Index, which includes companies like Sonic Corp. (SONC) and McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), has dropped 1.1 percent this year, compared with a 7.6 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Jefferies Group LLC, Morgan Stanley and Robert W. Baird & Co. managed the IPO.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at mhadi1@bloomberg.net Elizabeth Wollman, Stephen West

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