Madero Industria e Comercio SA, a Brazilian restaurant chain backed by private equity firm Carlyle Group Inc., is seeking to be valued at about 7 billion reais ($1.3 billion) in its initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Ponta Grossa, Parana-based company plans to raise about 1.2 billion reais with the share sale, said the people, who asked not to be named as the discussions are private. Some of the existing investors would also sell some of their stake. Madero declined to comment, citing a quiet period.

The restaurant chain was hit hard by Covid-19 lockdowns in Brazil, a global hot spot for the disease. With 238 stores in the nation, Madero saw its net debt soar 258% between December 2019 through last June, the IPO prospectus shows. The plan is to use about half of the share sale proceeds to pay some of its financial contracts, with the rest being used to expand restaurants and for potential acquisitions.

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Source: Bloomberg

By Andre Romani Pinto, Vinicius Andrade, andĀ Felipe Marques