Einstein Noah prices i.p.o. at $18 per share

by Eric Schroeder
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GOLDEN, COLO. — Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. on Friday priced 5 million shares of its common stock at $18 per share, below the anticipated range of $19 to $21 per share.

Einstein Noah shares rose 15c to $18.15 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.

According to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company’s stock was previously quoted in the Pink Sheets but the market for the shares was "somewhat inactive and illiquid from time to time."

Einstein Noah, which changed its name from New World Restaurant Group Inc. on May 3, plans to use proceeds from the initial public offering to repay debt. The offering raised about $90 million before offering expenses.

Einstein Noah also has granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares to cover overallotments. Morgan Stanley and Cowen and Co. are serving as lead underwriters for the offering, which is expected to close on June 13.

Einstein operates about 600 restaurants in 36 states and the District of Columbia under the Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel brands. The company’s product offerings include fresh bagels and other bakery items baked on-site, made-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches on a variety of bagels and bread, soups and salads, desserts, coffees and an assortment of snacks.

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