Nov 3 (Reuters) - Zaxby's Franchising Inc, a U.S. restaurant chain serving chicken fingers and wings, is working on an initial public offering (IPO) of around $200 million that could come as early as the first quarter of 2016, people familiar with the matter said.
Zaxby's has hired underwriters for the IPO, the people said this week. The company has around $100 million in annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, the people added.
The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Zaxby's said it had no comment.
Though the IPO market has been slow in recent months, the past two years have seen a spate of "fast-casual" restaurant IPOs, including chicken and biscuit chain Bojangles Inc , pizza chain Papa Murphy's Holdings Inc and wings restaurant Wingstop Inc. The industry has benefited from consumers who prefer to dine well and on-the-go.
Zaxby's is based in Athens, Georgia. There are approximately 700 Zaxby's restaurants in 16 states, mainly in the U.S. south. It was co-founded by childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley in 1990.
Reporting by Lauren Hirsch and Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby