Shares in Bojangles surged by as much as 47% in their market debut Friday.
The Charlotte-based chain of fast food restaurant had an initial public offering that raised $147.3 million.
The company sold 7.75 million shares, priced at the high end of the expected range of $18-$19 per share.
Its shares reached a high of $27.97 within minutes of trading on Friday. Its stock is trading under the ticker symbol “BOJA” on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
The company is currently valued at nearly $1 billion.
Bojangles focuses on combining fast food speed with the quality of “fast casual” chains.
Its restaurants are known for their breakfast biscuits, fried chicken dinners, salads, and wraps.
Breakfast is one of the company’s main sources of revenue, accounting for about 38% of sales.
Chief Executive Clifton Rutledge told the Wall Street Journal:
“It’s been a great day for our brand and a great day for our employees and franchisees.”
Bojangles, founded in 1977, had 258 company-operated and 377 franchised restaurants at the end of March. In a franchise an entrepreneur (franchisee) is allowed to use the franchisor’s (Bojangles’) name and sell its products.
Last year Bojangles generated $430.5 million in sales, 15% higher than in 2013.
Rutledge told the WSJ that over the next five to seven years the fast-food chain could double its footprint.