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Shake Shack is ready to go public

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Burger chain Shake Shack Inc, which grew out of a hot dog stand in New York's Madison Square Park, has filed for an initial public offering at a time when stock offerings by casual restaurants have proven to be a big hit with investors.

Shake Shack, known for its Shackburgers, flat-top hot dogs and eponymous shakes, has developed a cult following since it was founded by restaurateur Daniel Meyer in 2001.

Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group LLC (USHG) also runs other popular New York eateries, including Blue Smoke, Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe, which are not involved in the IPO.

The planned IPO follows a string of successful offerings by casual dining chains this year, including El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc and Zoe's Kitchen Inc .

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Despite a rocky year, Zoe's shares are now at double their IPO price while El Pollo shares trade at about 38 percent above their IPO price.

Shares of burger chain Habit Restaurants Inc <HABT.O> more than doubled in their trading debut last month.

Reuters reported exclusively in August that Shake Shack had hired lead managers for an IPO.

Apart from majority owner USHG, investors include private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP and Select Equity Group LP, an employee-owned hedge fund sponsor.

Shake Shack, which has 63 restaurants, operates mainly on the U.S. east coast but has opened outlets in several international locations including London, Istanbul and Dubai.

The company said it would use net proceeds from the offering to buy common membership interests of SSE Holdings LLC, which is the predecessor of Shake Shack for financial purposes.

J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are among the major underwriters for the IPO, according to Shake Shack's preliminary prospectus.

The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price.

The IPO has nominal fundraising target of $100 million.

However, the amount a company says will be raised in initial filings is used to calculate registration fees, and the final size of the IPO could be different.

Shake Shack's net income fell 20 percent to $3.55 million in the 39 weeks ended Sept. 24 from a year earlier. Revenue rose 41 percent to $83.76 million.

The company intends to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SHAK."

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