Logan's to go public again

Cracker Barrel spinout looks to raise up to $200M

The private-equity group that acquired Logan's Roadhouse from Cracker Barrel three and a half years ago is bringing the restaurant chain back to the public markets.

LRI Holdings this morning filed papers for an initial public offering that will look to raise $200 million to pay down some debt and redeem its preferred shares. The Nashville-based chain, which has annual sales of about $550 million, has about $220 million of long-term debt on its books.

In December 2006, Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill out of New York teamed up with Los-Angeles firms Black Canyon and Canyon Capital and Logan's executives to pay Cracker Barrel $485 million for the chain. Logan's had traded publicly as a stand-alone from 1995 until Cracker Barrel bought it in early 1999.

Since 2006, the group has grown profits – they're on track to reach $20 million in fiscal 2010 versus about $4 million in its fiscal 2007 – and its store base by a quarter to 211.

If it completes its offering, LRI will become the sixth Nashville-area company to go public in recent months. Since last August, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, Emdeon, Dollar General and Noranda Aluminum all have listed their shares while HCA also has filed IPO papers. The completed offerings have met with varying degrees of success, with Noranda's having to slash its terms as the IPO market stumbled a month ago.

LRI shares will trade under the LGNS ticker symbol. Following the IPO, which is being marketed by Credit Suisse, the three private-equity firms will still own a controlling interest in the company. Click here for the full S-1 filing.