El Pollo Loco leads a big week of IPOs

Biotech deals still dominate the pipeline for initial offerings, however.

By InvestorPlace Jul 22, 2014 12:39PM

Credit: © John Crowe/Alamy

Caption: An El Pollo Loco Restaurant in Upland Calif.By Tom Taulli

Last week was a hot one for initial public offerings, which saw deals such as TubeMogul (TUBE) and Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) each jump more than 60 percent on their first days.

There was some underlying weakness in the IPO market -- many of last week's deals saw pricing reductions to gin up demand -- but we've still seen a flood of IPOs lately, which will continue this week with 14 new stocks on deck. (Including three holdovers from last week -- Medical Transcription Billing, Microlin Bio and Pfenex).

Let's take a look at some of the highlights:

Atara Biotherapeutics

Expected Offering Date: Thursday

Atara Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biotech company focused on creating therapeutics for serious unmet medical needs, such as muscle-wasting conditions and oncology. Its drugs aid in the growth and maintenance of muscle and many other body tissues. The lead product, PINTA 745, is in Phase 2 clinical trials. Then there is STM 434, which is expected to launch a Phase 1 trial in the second half of this year. Atara Biotherapeutics plans to offer 5 million shares at a range of $14 to $16. The lead underwriters include Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citigroup (C).

El Pollo Loco (LOCO)

Expected Offering Date: Friday

El Pollo Loco is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain. A key part of the menu is fire-grilling citrus-marinated chicken. In fiscal 2013, revenues came to $314.7 million, but the company posted a net loss of $16.9 million. The company has more 400 locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The typical restaurant is between 2,400 to 3,000 square feet and seats about 70 people. El Pollo Loco intends to issue 7.1 million shares at a range of $13 to $15. The lead underwriters include Jefferies, Morgan Stanley (MS) and Baird.

Immune Design (IMDZ)

Expected Offering Date: Thursday

Immune Design is a biotech company that develops therapeutics that enable a body's immune system to fight disease. This is done by creating tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells, which can kill cancer. The lead drug, LV305, is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials. The company also believes that its core platform may eventually help target allergy and autoimmune diseases. Immune Design plans to sell 4.7 million shares at a range of $12 to $14. The lead underwriters include Jefferies and Leerink Partners.

Innocoll (INNL)

Expected Offering Date: Thursday

Innocoll is a biotech company that uses a proprietary collagen-based technology platform to develop biodegradable and fully bioresorbable products, which can be broken down by the body without the need for surgical removal. The lead products include XaraColl (treatment of post-operative pain) and and Cogenzia (treatment of diabetic foot infections). Both are expected to seek FDA approval by late 2015. Innocoll expects to issue 5.4 million shares at a range of $13 to $15. The lead underwriters include Piper Jaffray (PJC) and Stifel.

Mapi-Pharma (MAPI)

Expected Offering Date: Friday

Mapi-Pharma is a biotech company that is developing generic drugs. The initial focus is on products for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain. But the company also has other interesting drugs in development, such as replacements for Risperdal Consta and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Risperidone. Yet the IPO will be extremely important since Mapi raised its last round back in 2008. Currently, there is only $2.3 million in the bank. For its upcoming deal, the company plans to offer 2.7 million shares at a range of $13 to $15. The lead underwriter on the deal is Aegis Capital.

Townsquare Media Group (TSQ)

Expected Offering Date: Friday

Townsquare is an integrated media and entertainment company. Some of its assets include radio stations, social media sites, and live events. In 2013, revenues hit $345.1 million and adjusted EBITDA was $94.9 million. Yet the company does have a heavy debt load, currently at $485.3 million. Townsquare Media expects to offer 8.3 million shares at a range of $14 to $16. The lead underwriters include Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC), Jefferies and RBC Capital Markets (RBC).

More from InvestorPlace

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO StrategiesAll About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Jul 23, 2014 1:34AM
I like El Pollo Loco.. and I'm white.
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