Mexican fast-food chain El Pollo Loco Inc. is reportedly on the auction block.
Its New York-based owner, American Securities Capital Partners LLC, took bids on the Irvine-based company last week, according to investment banking Web site TheDeal.com.
Officials at American Securities couldn’t be reached for comment. Stephen Carley, El Pollo Loco’s chief executive, declined to address “innuendo” in the press.
In 2002, El Pollo Loco’s Chief Financial Officer Joseph Stein said a public offering could be in the cards for the chain. A sale is more likely now. TheDeal.com, which estimated El Pollo Loco could fetch $340 million, named private equity firms Apax Partners and Bruckman Rosser, Sherrill & Co. as potential suitors. Both have stakes in other Mexican fast-food chains.
American Securities bought El Pollo Loco in 1999 from Advantica Restaurant Group for $128 million, including the assumption of $15 million in debt.
* Brian Womack of the Orange County Business Journal contributed to this story.