Dunkin' Donuts' parent announces IPO price range

July 11, 2011 - 9:59 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The parent of Dunkin' Donuts plans to raise as much as $461 million when it takes the company public, up from the $400 million it originally estimated.

Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., which runs Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, disclosed the estimated pricing in a regulatory filing on Monday. It didn't say when the stock might start trading.

The company's current owners, a coterie of three well-known private equity firms, will continue to play a powerful role at the company even after it goes public. Together, Bain Capital Partners, Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners will own as much as 78 percent of the public Dunkin' Brands, which will make it nearly impossible for any dissident shareholders to effect substantial changes. The three firms control six of the nine seats on the board of directors.

Dunkin' Brands said it plans to use the money to pay down its substantial debt load, although it could also be hoping to have money left over for expansion plans. The Massachusetts-based company wants to grow outside its U.S. stronghold, the Northeast. It also is expanding internationally, with South Korea and the Middle East currently on its radar. The company says it has no plans to pay shareholder dividends "for the foreseeable future."

Dunkin' Brands' transition into a public company — it first announced its intentions in May — has also led it to pull back the curtain on its operations for potential shareholders. Its regulatory filing noted that CEO Nigel Travis made $5.5 million in 2010, mostly from $4 million in option awards.

The company said it will offer approximately 22.3 million shares on the open market, and it expects investors to pay $16 to $18 per share. The company will also give its underwriters a 30-day window to purchase another 3.3 million shares.

If all shares are bought at $18 each, the company would raise about $461 million before expenses.

However, the company said it expects to make about $348 million, after deducting underwriting expenses. That assumes that shares prices at the $17 midpoint and that the underwriters do not purchase additional shares.

Dunkin' Brands plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol DNKN.

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AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman contributed.