Shares of Dallas-based Fogo de Chao surge in IPO

NEW YORK (AP) – Shares of Fogo de Chao Inc. surged in their first day of trading after the Brazilian steakhouse chain priced its IPO above the expected range.

The Dallas-based company’s initial public offering on Friday sold just over 4.4 million shares of stock at $20 apiece. Shares quickly jumped after the opening bell and were up $5.46, or 27 percent, to $25.48 in midday trading.

The company had proposed the IPO between $16 and $18 per share.

Underwriters for the IPO have a 30-day option to purchase up to 661,764 additional common shares.

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Jefferies LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are acting as joint book-running managers in the offering.

Fogo de Chao operates 26 restaurants in the U.S., including three in Texas, 10 in Brazil and one joint venture restaurant in Mexico. It opened its first restaurant in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1979.

The restaurants are churrascarias which specialize in meats. Patrons are served continuously by roving chefs with options of different fire-roasted meat. A table medallion is used to signal whether a patron wants the roving chefs to continue offering meat through a simple color system of red or green.

The restaurants also have section where patrons can get side dishes.

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In 2014, the company earned a profit of $17.6 million on revenue of $262.3 million. Fogo de Chao said it plans to use proceeds from the IPO to pay debt.

The company said there is long-term potential to expand to more than 100 new domestic sites and additional restaurants internationally.