Jun 15, 2023 - Economy

Restaurant chain Cava raises $318 million in long-awaited IPO

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Cava, a fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant chain with over 250 locations, has raised $318 million in its IPO.

Why it matters: This may be the big win that the IPO market has been desperately waiting for.

Details: Washington, D.C.-based Cava busted through a price range that it had already boosted, snaring $22 per share.

  • That gives the company an initial market value of $2.45 billion. For context, its last private round valuation was in April 2021 at $1.71 billion.
  • VC backers include T. Rowe Price (17.4% pre-IPO stake), SWaN & Legend (11.6%) and Revolution Growth (6.9%).
  • Chief financial officer Tricia Tolivar tells Axios that the company plans to open between 60 and 70 new stores in 2023, with a 15% target for annual store growth. By 2032, that would mean over 1,000 Cava locations.

The bottom line: Cava isn't a clean comp for most of prospective IPO issuers, which trend more toward SaaS or biotech. But its success does suggest that institutional investors are again willing to look at new names, after a year of focusing on discounted named already in market.

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