Restaurant chain wants a steak of the big league

In one of the more unusual floats of the year, restaurateur Kingsley Smith is hoping to raise $6.3 million by floating his company Pacific Restaurant Group on the Australian Stock Exchange.

PRG is the proud owner of three up-market steak houses; one in Brisbane, one in Canberra and the flagship restaurant at Finger Wharf in the Sydney suburb of Woolloomooloo. Smith will open another Kingsleys Steakhouse in Melbourne later this year, and also plans to launch a second chain, called ChopHouse, aimed a younger diners, in Sydney in the second half of 2008.

The company will offer 21.946 million shares, priced at 28.71 cents each, with Smith to keep 11.2 million shares, worth around $3.2 million. In a new twist on investor relations, Smith will be sending PRG’s prospectus to many of the diners on the company’s database. “One of the keys to our business is our use of a sophisticated customer retention management system that tracks our 70,000 clients – many of whom will want to put their money where their mouths are with an investment in PRG,” Smith says.

Given celebrities such as Russell Crowe and Delta Goodrem are regulars at Kingsleys in Sydney, the marketing strategy may just work.

Directors have forecast the group will post earnings before interest and tax of $2.13 million for the 2008-09 financial year, with revenue expected to almost double to $27.2 million.


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