By Dan Primack
May 4, 2011

It’s time to make some money at Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of both Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins.

Dunkin’ Brands Group, the Canton, Mass.-based company that figuratively fuels millions of American workers, this morning filed for a $400 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol DNKN, with J.P. Morgan, Barclays Capital and Morgan Stanley serving as co-lead underwriters. BoA Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs are listed on the second line.

The company reports nearly $27 million in net income for 2010, on over $577 million in revenue. This represents slight increases over 2009 figures, when the company earned $35 million on $538 million in revenue. Store sales grew in both 2009 and 2010 (2.3% and 2.8%, respectively), after falling during both 2007 and 2008.

Dunkin’ used to be a subsidiary of France’s Pernod Ricard SA, before being acquired in early 2006 for $2.43 billion by Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and THL Partners. The IPO filing does not break out specific shareholdings for the three private equity firms.

It will be interesting to see how this offer is received by the public markets, particularly in light of rising food costs. Sixty percent of Dunkin Donuts’ systemwide U.S. sales come from coffee — a much higher-margin item than a donut or bagel — and in-store promotions recently bragged that the price of a cup hasn’t been raised in several years. Coffee futures currently are at their highest level in more than a decade, which could cause Dunkin’ to either raise prices or accept lower margins.

On a personal note: Regular readers know that I down Dunkin’ iced coffees like Norm Peterson used to down beers, but I’m unfortunately writing this post from a Starbucks in suburban Washington, D.C. (I was in a pinch for decent Internet access, in an unfamiliar city). Makes me feel a bit dirty and disloyal… hopefully nothing a Coolatta won’t wash away tomorrow.

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