BUCA Inc. –

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – BUCA Inc., which owns and operates 21 full-service BUCA di BEPPO restaurants, went public April 21, offering 3.07 million shares at $12 apiece. The stock priced near the top of the company’s $10.50 to $12.50 filing range.

Norwest Equity Partners V, Consumer Venture Partners II, Northwood Ventures, Regent Capital Partners, Walden Investors, Centre Partners and National Dining Concepts Inc. were not among the selling shareholders that offered 275,838 shares.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray and NationsBanc Montgomery Securities L.L.C. underwrote the initial public offering, which left 10.05 million shares outstanding.

BUCA, founded in December 1994, manages a chain of Italian-American restaurants in Italian neighborhoods of large U.S. cities. The company, which has never paid cash dividends, intends to open 13 restaurants this year.

Proceeds from the IPO, worth approximately $31.2 million, will be used for restaurant development, to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

John Whaley, a partner of Norwest, and David Yarnell, vice president of Consumer Venture Partners, joined the board of directors in 1996. Paul Zepf, managing director of Centre Partners, joined the board in 1998.

BUCA – Selected Financial

(in thousands, except per share data )

Fiscal Year Ended

December 31, 1996 December 28, 1997 December 27, 1998

Resturant Sales 11,316 19,030 38,483

Net loss -1,113 -3,319 -2,946

Net loss per share -1.96 -2.13 -2.04