Shake Shack sizzles in market debut

Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:18am EST
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By Amrutha Gayathri

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Shares of gourmet hamburger chain Shake Shack Inc soared 150 percent in their first few minutes of trading on Friday, valuing the company that grew out of a hotdog cart in New York's Madison Square Park at nearly $2 billion.

The sizzling debut follows the successful listing two months ago of Habit Restaurants Inc, highlighting strong appetite for shares of companies serving up premium burgers.

Shake Shack shares hit $52.49 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, way above their offer price of $21.

At the high, founder Daniel Meyer's 21 percent stake in the company was worth about $390 million.

Meyer, who also owns popular New York restaurants Blue Smoke, Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe, opened the first Shake Shack in 2004. Since then, the chain has won a near-cult following for its rich milkshakes, crinkle fries and hormone- and antibiotic-free burgers.

Shake Shack raised $105 million from its initial public offering. Underwriters J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley had originally set an expected price range of $14-16 per share, but later raised this to $17-19 due to strong demand.