According to sources, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) will take the burger chain public perhaps even later this year.
Walking through New York’s Madison Square Park in 2008 having just arrived back to the States for the first time in seven years, I had no idea what was going on in the park. There was a line that suggested the hottest ticket in town was soon to be sold, perhaps the new iPhone. I couldn’t have been more wrong but I had time to investigate. Being impatient I asked someone in line what the fuss was all about and was treated like an alien. I had never heard of Shake Shack nor was I aware that any burger was worth that sort of wait. After 70 minutes with my ‘Shackburger’ in hand I was among the converted. When I left NYC a year later it was with a heavy heart due to that burger.
Shake Shack: It’s not “fast casual”
With a line of that size you can hardly call Shake Shack “fast casual” but with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG)’s stock approaching $700 for the first time it looks like Shake Shack and Danny Meyer are looking to cash in on their following.
Shake Shack’s majority owner, Union Square Hospitality Group was founded by restaurateur Danny Meyer in 1985 one of the most successful restauranteurs that can be found in New York. In Addition to Shake Shack the group runs the always packed Blue Smoke, Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe among others.
Since opening its original location in New York’s Madison Square Park in 2004, Shake Shack has opened locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and Massachusetts. While the west coast may have In-N-Out Burger, the east coast can claim Shake Shack. A claim that London, Istanbul, Moscow and Dubai can also make.
With earnings of roughly $20 million next year, this will not be a massive IPO but one that JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley will be happy to be associated with. Shake Shack, Union Square Hospitality, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have yet to comment on the story breaking today.
Shake Shack’s chief executive, Randy Garutti, worked his way up through Union Square Hospitality before taking over the chain with its cult following. Garutti, has said that Shake Shack will continue to be run by Union Square Hospitality Group and will not be franchised.
Private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners purchased roughly 40% of USHG in 2012 for an undisclosed amount.