Capital Markets

Hungry for Restaurant IPOs

Share prices for Tim Hortons and Chipotle Mexican Grill bode well for Burger King and other pending restaurant IPOs.
Stephen TaubMarch 24, 2006

Investors are apparently hungry for shares of restaurant companies.

On Friday shares of Tim Hortons Inc. opened at $31.95 — well above their IPO price of $23.16 — in their first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, according to marketwatch.com.

The Canadian coffee and doughnut chain, which is being spun off from Wendy’s International Inc., sold 29 million shares, netting the parent $671.6 million, according to the Associated Press.

Wendy’s plans to spin off its remaining stake by the end of the year, according to the wire service.

The successful IPO comes on the heels of McDonald’s Corp.’s offering of Chipotle Mexican Grill back in January. The price of the nearly 7.9 million shares doubled on the first day of trading to close at $44, the AP points out. The shares now trade in the mid-$50s.

The two high-profile offerings suggest this could be a good time for a restaurant company to go public or for a company to issue shares in its food unit.

One company that is closely watching these developments is fast-food chain Burger King, which on February 17 filed to raise up to $400 million, according to Dow Jones.