Krispy Kreme is poised to become a public company once again, the chain announced Tuesday.
The brand said it confidentially submitted a draft registration statement to the SEC related to the IPO of its common stock. Krispy Kreme has not yet determined the number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering.
“The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions,” the company said in a statement.
Krispy Kreme was public for 16 years before being acquired by JAB Holding for $1.35 billion in 2016. It’s the same private global investment company that bought Panera for $7.5 billion in 2017 and purchased British chain Pret a Manger for $2 billion in 2018.
The chain has nearly 1,400 units in 33 countries, and the brand’s doughnuts can be found in roughly 12,000 grocery, convenience, and mass merchant stores throughout the U.S. It was founded in 1937.
The Winston, Salem North Carolina-based concept has made significant moves amid the pandemic. In September, Krispy Kreme opened a 4,500-square-foot Times Square store—its first global flagship shop. The innovative, sleek design includes the world’s largest Hot Light, stadium‑style seating inside a giant Krispy Kreme dozens box, and a 24-hour street-side pickup window. The new unit was part of Krispy Kreme’s 2020 expansion in New York City, which included a remodeled store at Penn Station.
The doughnut chain also made news in late March when it began giving away one free doughnut per day to those who show their vaccination card. The deal lasts through the end of 2021.
Krispy Kreme is at least the fourth chain in a span of seven weeks to be linked to an IPO. On Tuesday, it was reported that the 450-unit Dutch Bros Coffee is considering moving toward an IPO and seeking to be valued at around $3 billion. Last week, the New York Times reported that JAB completed an $800 million refinancing for Panera that could “pave the way” for the company to return to the public stock market. The publication said Panera may not require a traditional IPO, opening the door for a special acquisition company. Additionally, in March news broke that Torchy’s Tacos is headed toward an IPO, although nothing is final. The taco chain is reportedly working with Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The most recent food and drink concepts to go public, BurgerFi and Landry’s, merged with special acquisition companies to do so. BurgerFi and OPES Acquisition Corp. agreed to merge in June 2020, with an anticipated initial enterprise value of approximately $143 million. The chain rung the Nasdaq bell later in December. In February, Fertitta Entertainment, which includes Golden Nugget Casinos and Landry’s, agreed to join Fast Acquisition Corp. in a deal that will value the company at $6.6 billion.
Kura Sushi USA, a revolving sushi-style restaurant, went the traditional IPO route in 2019. The concept raised $41 million in its initial public offering. Prior to Kura Sushi, Wingstop and Fogo de Chao went public in 2015. However, Fogo de Chao went private in 2018.