Nov 18, 2021 - Economy

Sweetgreen stock soars after its IPO, valued at $5.5 billion

Illustration of a bowl of salad made out of money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen was valued at $5.5 billion when it began trading as a public company on Thursday.

By the numbers: The Los Angeles-based company priced its IPO shares at $28, which was above its proposed $23-$25 offering range, for a $2.98 billion market value. It then didn't begin trading until after 1:30pm, opening at $52 per share.

  • For context, Sweetgreen was valued at nearly $1.8 billion in its last round of private funding, which closed early this year.
  • Private investors included investment firms Revolution, T. Rowe Price, Red Sea Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Signatures Capital. Plus tennis star Naomi Osaka and restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Daniel Boulud.
  • Earlier this week, the company updated its IPO prospectus to acknowledge past misstatements about profitability.

Comps: Even at its original IPO price, Sweetgreen outpaced several other restaurant companies that went public earlier this year.

  • Its IPO enterprise valuation was nearly 9.5X LTM revenue.
  • Dutch Bros was at 7.1x LTM, Portillo's was at 4.5x and BurgerFi International was at 4.1x.

What to watch: Steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão just filed for an IPO, while P.F. Chang’s, Torchy's Tacos and California Pizza Kitchen are rumored to be prepping offerings.

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