Canadian restaurant giant Cara Operations to go public through stock sale

TORONTO – The company that owns Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet and several other restaurant chains is planning a return to the public stock market after an absence of more than a decade.

Financial details have yet to be determined, but Cara Operations announced Friday that it’s planning to sell subordinate shares through a public offering.

Cara’s multiple-vote shares will be owned by members of the Phelan family and Fairfax Financial Holdings (TSX:FFH).

Cara — which has restaurants under banners that also include Milestones, East Side Mario’s, Casey’s, Kelsey’s and Montana’s — was taken private in 2004.

The number of shares to be sold and the offering price has not been determined, but a preliminary prospectus filed with Canadian securities regulators says the money raised will be used primarily to reduce Cara’s debt.