Hooters investor begins IPO

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Chanticleer Holdings Inc., a minority owner of Hooters of America, on Thursday began trading in its $11 million initial public offering.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Chanticleer bought a minority interest in the 450-unit Atlanta-based Hooters of America in January 2011, and has rights to develop Hooters restaurants in parts of Brazil, Hungary, South Africa and other future international markets and to operate a joint venture with a current franchisee in Australia.

With its IPO, Chanticleer issued more than 2.4 million units at $4.50 a share with a warrant to purchase another share at $5. Chanticleer shares trade on the NASDAQ capital market as HOTRU.

The company said in a statement that it “plans to use net proceeds from this offering for investment in Hooters international franchises, pay off existing debt and for general corporate working capital.”

Merriman Capital Inc. and Dawson James Securities Inc. acted as book runners in the Chanticleer offering.

Chanticleer and a group of private equity investors acquired Hooters of America in January 2011. Other investors included H.I.G. Capital; KarpReilly LLC; and Kelly Hall, president of Texas Wings Inc., the largest Hooters franchisee in the United States.

Mike Pruitt, chief executive of Chanticleer, serves on the board of Hooters of America, which has units in 44 states and 28 foreign nations.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless