Chicago Pizza & Brewery, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHGO and CHGOW) announced that it has completed the private placement of 3.2 million shares of common stock to BJ Chicago LLC, the Company’s largest shareholder, at $2.50 per share. The Company had agreed in February 2001, in connection with an 800,000 share private placement, to sell the 3.2 million shares to BJ Chicago LLC on or before August 15, 2001. The $8 million proceeds from the private placement were received on August 12.
Paul Motenko, Co-CEO, commented, “The additional financial resources provided by this infusion of equity takes the Company to a whole new level in terms of its ability to expand the very popular BJ’s concept.” As a result of the transaction, the Company’s financial statements reflect $27 million in equity and $12 million in cash. In addition, the Company has a line of credit with Union Bank with an unused balance of $4 million. “At a time when some other restaurant companies are slowing their growth because of a lack of financial resources, we are poised to capitalize on prime site opportunities as they become available.”
One such opportunity has already surfaced in Arizona. The Company recently executed a letter of intent on what would be its second unit in the Phoenix area. The site is in a rapidly growing section of Scottsdale. The Company already has a site in Chandler, Arizona scheduled to open mid-October. “With the addition of Scottsdale, we feel that BJ’s is very well positioned in the Phoenix marketplace,” remarked Jerry Hennessy, Co-CEO.
Before heading to Arizona, the Company opened its 16th restaurant in Southern California. The 8,000 square foot BJ’s Brewhouse restaurant, in Irvine, California opened to the public August 15 after a series of pre-opening parties that raised over $35,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Hennessy commented, “The opening parties were filled with massive energy and we are excited to be operating in one of Irvine Company’s premier properties. We are very pleased to be involved with the Irvine Company, one of the largest land owners and real estate development companies in California. This adds to our list of relationships with some of the country’s largest commercial developers, including Newhall Land, Urban Retail Properties Co., Westcor Partners and Westfield Corporation.”
Chicago Pizza & Brewery, Inc. operates 26 casual dining restaurants, some of which incorporate microbreweries. Sixteen of the BJ’s restaurants are located in Southern California, one in Boulder, Colorado and four in Oregon. In addition, the Company operates five Pietro’s restaurants in Oregon and has a licensing interest in a BJ’s restaurant in Lahaina, Maui. BJ’s restaurants offer customers moderate prices and tremendous value on an incredible menu that includes deep-dish Chicago-style pizza as well as sandwiches, salads, fabulous desserts, critically acclaimed hand-crafted beers and more. Visit Chicago Pizza & Brewery, Inc. on the web at http://www.bjsbrewhouse.com.
The information presented herein contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. The Company’s results may differ significantly from the results indicated by such forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to: (i) the Company’s ability to manage growth and conversions, (ii) construction delays, (iii) restaurant and brewery industry competition and other such industry considerations, (iv) marketing and other limitations based on the Company’s historic concentration in Southern California and current concentration in the Northwest, (v) consumer trends, (vi) increased food costs and wages, including, without limitation, the recent increase in the minimum wage, (vii) increased energy costs in California, and (viii) other general economic and regulatory conditions.