Burger King's India franchise soars 125% on stock market debut
Posted December 14, 2020 6:03 a.m. EST
CNN — Burger King's Indian franchise has pulled off a whopper initial public offering.
Shares in Burger King India opened at 112.5 rupees ($1.53) per share on their first day of trading Monday in Mumbai, nearly double the IPO price of 60 rupees (about 80 cents). The stock later shot up even further, closing at 135 rupees ($1.84).
The company — which owns the exclusive rights to launch and operate Burger King restaurants in Asia's second most populous nation after China — raised 8.1 billion rupees (about $110 million) in the IPO.
It set up its first outlet in India six years ago, and has since opened nearly 270 restaurants nationwide, according to a stock exchange filing.
Burger King India plans to use some of the funds to expand its network to about 300 restaurants by the end of next year, and is targeting at least 700 locations by the end of 2026.
But the chain faces stiff competition. Plenty of Western fast food brands are vying to win customers in India, including McDonald's, KFC, Domino's and Subway.
This month, Wendy's announced it would push further into the country, with plans to open 150 new outlets and 250 cloud kitchens, or facilities that make food just for deliveries.
India is becoming an important battleground for global fast food chains. The local market for fast food and takeaway joints was worth almost $4.6 billion in 2019, according to Euromonitor International. The firm projects that could jump to $5.6 billion by 2024.
While Burger King was considered late to enter the country "compared to McDonald's," the burger chain later stood out by expanding its reach and keeping its meals affordable, according to researchers at Euromonitor.
Like other fast food chains, it's also tweaked its offerings based on local preferences.
In India, for example, "we do not offer beef or pork products in our restaurants," Burger King India said in a filing. "[And] of the 18 burgers that we have developed specifically for the Indian market, seven are vegetarian burgers."