Burger King Worldwide Inc. is once again public, debuting Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Less than two years after 3G Capital Management took the fast-food chain private, ticker symbol BKW is trading on Wall Street -- and not doing too badly. After opening at $14.50, the stock saw as much as an 11.8% increase and, nearing midway through the trading session, was hovering around $15 a share.
Burger King has come a long way since 2010, when it was struggling to stay hip and keep pace with McDonald’s, behind which it is perennially ranked.
After buying the Miami company for $3.3 billion, 3G sent it through an intense shape-up regimen.
The menu underwent a Golden Arches-style makeover with garden salads and snack wraps geared more toward women rather than the hungry young guys sought by competitors such as Carl’s Jr.
The creepy King mascot was dethroned, replaced in advertisements by far sexier spokespeople such as Salma Hayek and David Beckham. Upper management was shuffled around; restaurants were revamped. Last week, the chain began luring summer customers with bacon sundaes.
In April, 3G said it was selling a 29% stake in Burger King to London-based acquisition company Justice Holdings for $1.4 billion in a deal that would take the hamburger giant public.
On Wednesday, Burger King staffers donned crowns to celebrate the company's NYSE listing.
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