(SG) begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange

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Shares in the salad chain Sweetgreen closed 76% on Thursday afternoon and rose on the company’s public debut.

The stock opened at $ 52 per share, giving the company a market value of more than $ 5.5 billion. The company valued its IPO at $ 28 per share on Wednesday night, which is above its marketed range of $ 23-25 ​​per share. Sweetgreen sold 13 million shares for $ 364 million for the company.

The stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SG”.

Founded in 2006, Sweetgreen has found a loyal customer base with its menu of customizable salads and hot bowls that appeals to consumers looking for healthy and practical options. The chain has also turned to technology, pushing its customers to order their salads online to reduce the queues in restaurants. More than two thirds of sales come from digital sales.

“We like to say we want to build our generation’s McDonald’s,” said co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman at CNBC’s Squawk Box.

For the fiscal year ended December 27, Sweetgreen reported a net loss of $ 141.2 million on sales of $ 220.6 million, according to its prospectus. The chain’s sales in the same store declined 26% during that time, after increasing 15% in the previous fiscal year.

This year the chain has recovered from pandemic lows. Sales in the same store increased 21% through September 26th. The loss decreased to $ 86.9 million from a loss of $ 100.2 million in the same period last year.

In August, Sweetgreen acquired Spyce, a Boston restaurant company that made a name for itself in robotic restaurant technology.

Sweetgreen operates 140 restaurants in 13 states and Washington and plans to double its restaurant presence within the next five years.

Other restaurant chains made their public market debuts this year with mixed results. First Watch Restaurant Group’s stock is down 9% since it went public in October, while coffee chain Dutch Bros’ shares are up 55% since their own offering.

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