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Emerging Brands

Muscle Maker Grill parent plots $20M ‘mini IPO’

The 50-unit chain is the latest operation to take the alternate financing route.

Muscle Maker Inc., parent company of the Muscle Maker Grill fast-casual chain, announced plans today to launch an initial public offering of nearly $20 million in stock.

The company will offer the shares directly to the public under what’s been dubbed a “mini IPO,” a simplified process permitted under Regulation A+ of the Obama administration’s JOBS Act. It’s a financial gambit that’s becoming increasingly popular with growing restaurant concepts.

Fat Brands, parent of the Fatburger, Buffalo’s Cafe and Buffalo’s Express chains, commenced a Regulation A+ offering last week, with plans to use the proceeds to pay for acquisitions.  The company recently acquired the Ponderosa and Bonanza budget-steakhouse brands as part of that strategy.

Bobby’s Burger Palace, Bobby Flay’s 17-unit full-service burger chain, announced plans this summer for an IPO, but has put the offering on hold as it explores franchising as an alternative growth strategy. The IPO was intended to raise about $17 million in expansion capital.

Muscle Maker Grill plans to use the investment to fund domestic and international expansion, as well as for working capital, according to a press release.

The restaurant chain now has some 50 franchised and corporate units in 12 states. Its menu caters to health-conscious consumers with ingredients like grass-fed steak, gluten-free items and protein shakes. 

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