By Olivia Oran
July 29 Pizza chain Papa Murphy's is close to
selecting banks for an initial public offering that could come
later this year, according to three sources familiar with the
The Vancouver, Washington-based company, best known for its
"take n' bake" pizzas, has been owned by private equity firm Lee
Equity Partners since 2010.
Papa Murphy's could not be reached for comment. Lee Equity
Partners declined to comment.
Founded in 1981, Papa Murphy's has around 1,350 stores --
the majority of which are franchised -- and is the fifth largest
pizza chain in the U.S. Besides pizzas, the chain also sells
salads, cheesy bread, cinnamon wheels and chocolate chip cookie
Papa Murphy's has roughly $800 million in revenue across
corporate and franchised stores. Lee Equity Partners, founded by
billionaire private equity executive Thomas H. Lee, acquired the
firm for an undisclosed amount from private equity firm
Charlesbank Capital Partners.
Unlike competitors Pizza Hut, Papa John's International Inc
and Domino's Pizza Inc, Papa Murphy's doesn't
deliver. Rather, customers buy uncooked pizzas with their
selected toppings and then bake the pizzas at home.