Burger King Worldwide Inc. advanced in the fast-food chain’s return to the NYSE today after completing a merger with a company co-founded by hedge fund titan Bill Ackman.
Burger King rose 3.8 percent to $15.05 at 11:24 a.m. in New York after opening at $14.50. 3G paid $3.3 billion for Burger King less than two years ago.
The chain, which was taken private in 2010 by New York investment firm 3G Capital Inc., is trading under the ticker symbol BKW. 3G got $1.4 billion in cash and remains the majority shareholder with a 71 percent stake.
3G, backed by Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, paid $3.3 billion for Miami-based Burger King less than two years ago. Since the takeover, which was the biggest restaurant deal in at least a decade, Burger King sales have stagnated, prompting the chain to experiment with new items and delivery service. Ackman has said he plans to add Burger King stores internationally and franchise more sites to bolster earnings.
The Whopper seller, which announced a new menu on April 2, has struggled to keep pace with McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) and tried to remodel stores to a so-called 20/20 prototype, which includes corrugated metal, brick, wood and concrete.
Last week, Burger King formed a joint venture to open 1,000 stores in China. The agreement with the Kurdoglu family and private-equity firm Cartesian Capital Group LLC to open the restaurants in the next five to seven years is the company’s largest development deal.
Burger King has more than 12,500 restaurants worldwide, of which about 90 percent are franchised. The chain went public again following a transaction, announced in April, in which Burger King was transferred to Justice Holdings Ltd. (JUSH), a special- purpose acquisition company.
Justice Holdings, started by Nicolas Berggruen, Martin Franklin and Ackman, raised 900 million pounds ($1.4 billion) in a February 2011 initial public offering in London. Berggruen is the owner of Karstadt, Germany’s biggest department-store chain, and also co-leads the New York-based Liberty Acquisition Holdings Corp. with Franklin. Ackman is the founder of the $10.5 billion hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP. Full profile of Bill Ackman
Before going private, the fast-food chain was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, beginning in 2006, as Burger King Holdings Inc., with the symbol BKC. That stock was delisted in October 2010.
Read More: Bloomberg