Cara Operations Plans IPO


VAUGHAN, Ont. — Cara Operations Ltd. is preparing to go public again. The parent company of Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Casey’s and more, filed a preliminary prospectus with the securities regulatory authority to list shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Financials have not yet been provided.

The company owns 10 brands, with 837 restaurants across Canada as of the end of 2014 — 89 per cent of which are operated by franchisees. After reaching a deal with Fairfax Financial last year, which joined Cara Operations Ltd. with Prime Restaurants, company documents show a strengthened financial performance. From 2013 to fiscal 2014, system sales increased 23.6 per cent, SRS Growth was 2.6 per cent and operating EBITDA increased 74.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, since its integration of Prime Restaurants into its brand, Cara has found cost savings through employee rationalizations, re-negotiation of restaurant-level food, beverage and other supply and service contracts, the closing of Prime’s head office, consolidation of information technology and the elimination of other duplicative costs.

Company documents show Swiss Chalet was the company’s highest-grossing brand with 215 units and $546 million in 2014, followed by Harvey’s, with 261 units and $267 million in sales. Following 2015, the company plans to add 30 to 50 new restaurants per year.

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