The private equity owners of Joe & the Juice, the health-food chain that targets young professionals and hipsters, are considering an initial public offering for the retailer toward the end of 2019, people familiar with the matter said.
Valedo Partners, based in Stockholm, and U.S. buyout firm General Atlantic have begun internal preparations and could appoint banks in the first half of 2019, the people said, asking not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. No final decisions have been made, they said.
Joe & the Juice is weighing making its trading debut in the U.S. as it focuses on expanding in that market with outlets spread from New York to San Francisco, the people said. The Copenhagen-based chain could command a valuation of about $1.5 billion as it seeks to benchmark itself against retailers such as Shake Shack Inc., they said.
Representatives for Valedo and General Atlantic declined to comment.
Founded in 2002 by its Chief Executive Officer Kaspar Basse, Joe & the Juice secured an investment of undisclosed size from Valedo in December 2013 that made the Swedish buyout firm the majority owner. Less than three years later, Greenwich, Connecticut-based General Atlantic said it had taken a minority stake — without revealing the financial terms — and appointed two representatives to the retailer’s board.
Joe & the Juice sells freshly prepared organic juices, shakes, sandwiches and coffee at about 300 locations, with a third in the U.S. and most of the rest in northern Europe.
Rival Pret A Manger had also sought a U.S. listing before JAB Holding Co. agreed to acquire the U.K. chain in May for about 1.5 billion pounds ($1.9 billion), people familiar said at the time.
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