El Pollo Loco Jumps After Raising $107 Million in IPO

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc., the fast-casual restaurant known for its fire-grilled chicken, surged in its trading debut after pricing the shares in its U.S. initial public offering at the top of the range.

El Pollo Loco climbed 28 percent to $19.16 at 11:17 a.m. in New York, giving the Costa Mesa, California-based company a market value of about $687 million. It sold 7.1 million shares for $15 each, according to a statement yesterday, after offering them for $13 to $15.

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

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

El Pollo Loco is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol LOCO. The company will use proceeds from the offering to repay debt.

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

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