Atlanta, GA 6/20/12 (StreetBeat) -- Shares of Burger King Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE: BKW) opened at $14.50 on Wednesday, as it started its first round of trading, less than two years of going private in a $3.26 billion sale to Brazilian investment fund 3G Capital Management LLC.
The world's second-biggest hamburger chain closed a $1.4 billion deal merging Burger King into Justice Holdings, a shell company cofounded by hedge fund veteran Bill Ackman.
In the deal, Justice shareholders and founders wound up with about 29 percent of the shares, with 3G retaining 71 percent ownership and receiving $1.4 billion in cash, the company said.
The deal and IPO from Burger King Worldwide Inc, known for its "Whopper" hamburgers, comes as it and other chains fight to keep up with fast-food leader McDonald's Corp (NYSE: MCD).
When the "reverse-merger" transaction was announced in April, Justice said it expected the fast-food chain's core profits in 2012 to almost double from 2010.
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