CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – A Chattanooga-based restaurant chain could soon be up for sale.

The Krystal Company announced Wednesday that it is exploring the possible sale of the company.

The regional fast food chain was established in 1932 in Chattanooga and has been headquartered here ever since.

"Having seen the company through significant growth since 1997, the board feels that now is the appropriate time to seek a new investor to help take the company to the next level," said Fred Exum, President and CEO of the Krystal Company. "The brand is well-positioned to continue its momentum and further leverage its historical equity and strong operational performance, presenting a compelling opportunity for a new financial sponsor."

"We have been extremely successful over the last 14 years, which is primarily due to the hard work of all levels of our management team," added Exum. "Krystal is growing and we are excited about the future opportunities for the brand."

"This is an exciting time for the entire family of Krystal stakeholders, over 7,000 employees and our franchisees.  The target is to deliver an attractive exit for current shareholders who have been tremendously supportive over the past fourteen years while also establishing a solid platform for our employees to further expand the brand by continuing to serve our loyal customers," added Mr. Exum.

The company operates 364 restaurants in 11 states and employs over 7,000 employees.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News has asked if the decision to sell the company was in any way connected with the death of longtime owner "Rody" Davenport III last week. Davenport is the son of Krystal founder R.B. Davenport, Jr.  

Krystal has yet to respond to our request for comment.