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Financing

Krispy Kreme is planning an IPO

The doughnut chain, which was taken private in 2016, has confidentially filed with federal regulators for an initial public offering.
Photograph: Shutterstock

You may soon get the chance to buy Krispy Kreme stock again.

The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based chain on Tuesday said that it confidentially filed a draft registration statement for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission—meaning the company could soon go public.

It would be the first traditional IPO of a restaurant chain since Kura Sushi in 2019 and only the second such offering since 2015. The fast-casual chain BurgerFi, however, went public in a reverse merger with a publicly-traded shell company.

But Krispy Kreme is no secret to the public markets. The company went public in 2000 and was one of the hottest stocks on Wall Street for years before it nearly collapsed amid an accounting scandal and money-losing doughnut shops.

The company crawled back, however, enough to have earned a $1.35 billion buyout by JAB Holding in 2016 at a time when the European investment fund was on a buying binge—that fund has acquired companies like Peet’s, Caribou, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Panera Bread, among others.

Krispy Kreme has done well as a privately-held company. Since 2015, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic, its global system sales have increased 58% to $960 million.

Unit count has increased 29% to more than 1,500—with much of that growth coming outside the U.S. The doughnut chain operates 365 U.S. locations, up from 298 in 2015. It has more than 1,100 international locations.

Unit volumes, meanwhile, have increased by 33% over that time.

The potential IPO would be the first major exit for a JAB-held company since its buying binge began a decade ago. But it also comes at a time when the public markets appear to be more friendly to restaurant companies—both Dutch Bros Coffee and Torchy’s Tacos are said to be considering their own IPOs.

Krispy Kreme said in its release that it has not yet determined the number of shares it is planning to offer nor the price.

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