Ares-backed Cooper's Hawk Winery eyeing IPO

Jan. 13, 2022 1:12 PM ETHUGS, DNUT, BROS, FWRG, PTLO, SGBy: Val Kennedy, SA News Editor

IPO (Initial public offering)

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  • Restaurant chain Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is reportedly planning to hold an IPO later this year, with a targeted valuation of over $1B.
  • The casual-dining group, which is backed by Ares Management, is working with several banks on the deal, including Bank of America, Jefferies, and Piper Sandler, according to a recent Bloomberg report citing people close to the deal.
  • Bank of America and Ares declined to comment on the matter, while Cooper’s Hawk, Jefferies, and Piper Sandler did not immediately respond to media inquiries for comment, Bloomberg said.
  • Based in Illinois, Cooper’s Hawk specializes in casual dining and wine tastings. In a press release dated February 2021, the company said that its wine club, which meets regularly at its 44 locations, had over 450,000 members.
  • Ares made an investment in the restaurant group in 2019. Terms were not disclosed. According to Restaurant Business, the investment was valued at around $700M.
  • 2021 was a busy year for restaurant deals, with Krispy Kreme (NASDAQ:DNUT), Sweetgreen (NYSE:SG), Dutch Bros (NYSE:BROS), Portillo's (NASDAQ:PTLO) and First Watch (NASDAQ:FWRG) all going public.
  • Panera Brands also recently announced plans to hold an IPO that would include an investment from Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer and his SPAC USHG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:HUGS).

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