Lee Equity’s Papa Murphy’s Preps For IPO

Target: Papa Murphy’s

Revenue: $800 million

Sponsor: Lee Equity Partners

The Vancouver, Washington-based company, best known for its “take n’ bake” pizzas, has been owned by private equity firm Lee Equity Partners since 2010. Papa Murphy’s could not be reached for comment. Lee Equity Partners declined to comment.

Founded in 1981, Papa Murphy’s has around 1,350 stores — the majority of which are franchised — and is the fifth largest pizza chain in the U.S. Besides pizzas, the chain also sells salads, cheesy bread, cinnamon wheels and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Unlike competitors Pizza Hut, Papa John’s International Inc and Domino’s Pizza Inc, Papa Murphy’s doesn’t deliver. Rather, customers buy uncooked pizzas with their selected toppings and then bake the pizzas at home.

Papa Murphy’s has roughly $800 million in revenue across corporate and franchised stores. Lee Equity Partners, founded by billionaire private equity executive Thomas H. Lee, acquired the firm for an undisclosed amount from private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners.

Olivia Oran is a correspondent for Reuters in New York.