Burger chain Shake Shack sets IPO pricing

<p>Shake Shack expects a $14-$16 price per share.</p>

Burger chain Shake Shack said it expected its initial public offering (IPO) to be priced at $14-$16 (£9 – £10.5) per share, valuing the company at up to $568 million. It plans to sell five million Class A shares in the offering, with a view to raise $80 million.

The company, which started as a single hot dog cart in New York City, now operates 63 restaurants around the world, including 36 in the United States.

It is known for its burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes, and has developed a cult following since it was founded in 2001. The chain calls itself the modern day "roadside" and focuses on natural ingredients, with hormone-free and antibiotic-free beef. It’s known for its long lines and its vibrating pagers that signal when an order is ready.

Shake Shack generated nearly $79 million in sales for the first nine months of 2014, and plans to open ten new company-operated stores each year, with a goal of reaching 450 in the long term, a regulatory filing shows. The company hasn’t specified the timing for reaching that number.

The offering follows a string of successful IPOs by casual dining chains last year, including Habit Restaurants and El Pollo Loco Holdings.

El Pollo Loco's shares soared 33 per cent in their debut in July, while shares of Habit Restaurants' more than doubled in their debut in November, Reuters report.

JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters on the IPO. The burger joint has applied to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SHAK.

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