Shake Shack now expects IPO to be priced higher at $17-$19 a share-Reuters

(Reuters) – Burger chain Shake Shack Inc (SHAK.N) now expects its initial public offering to be priced at $17-$19 per share, up from $14-$16 expected earlier, valuing the company at up to $674.5 million.

The offering of 5 million Class A shares is expected to raise about $95 million, Shake Shack said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

The company, which grew out of a hot dog stand in New York’s Madison Square Park, is known for its Shackburgers, flat-top hot dogs and eponymous milkshakes and has developed a cult following since it was founded by restaurateur Daniel Meyer in 2001.

Private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP is Shake Shack’s largest shareholder with 26 percent of its common stock.

Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group LLC owns 21 percent of Shake Shack, while employee-owned hedge fund sponsor Select Equity Group LP holds 12.3 percent.

The New York-based burger chain has 63 outlets, including 36 in the United States. The company’s international outlets include those in Dubai, Istanbul, London and Kuwait.

Shake Shack’s offering follows a string of successful IPOs by casual dining chains last year, including Habit Restaurants Inc (HABT.O), El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc (LOCO.O) and Zoe’s Kitchen Inc (ZOES.N).

U.S. IPOs, which have been on a tear since 2013, raised more than $93 billion last year, the most since 2000.

Shake Shack’s shares, which are scheduled to be priced on Thursday after the market closes, are expected to start trading on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SHAK”.

J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are among the lead underwriters for the offering.