Aramark, one of the country's largest closely-held companies, is preparing to return to public ownership of its stock with an initial public offering, reports the Wall Street Journal citing "people familiar with the company's thinking."The company is in early discussions with banks and analysts about the move though the timing and valuation of the deal hasn't yet been decided, nor the banks that would manage the deal. That is apparently expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Aramark, founded in 1936 in Los Angeles, was originally privately held before going public in 1960 following a merger with Automatic Retailers of America. It was taken private in 1984 by a management buyout that averted a hostile takeover, went public again with an IPO in late 2001 and then was taken private once more in a management-led buyout in late 2006.