Cara’s a Beautiful Thing in Best IPO Debut Since 2007

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Cara Operations Ltd. jumped 43 percent in its trading debut, extending gains after opening 36 percent higher than its initial public offering price for the best start for an Canadian IPO since 2007.

The restaurant company, whose brands include roast-chicken purveyor Swiss Chalet and charbroiled burger chain Harvey’s, opened at C$31.26 in its first day of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, up from its initial public offering price of C$23 a share. The company raised C$200.1 million ($158.9 million) in its IPO on April 1.

The shares jumped 43 percent to C$32.90 at 4 p.m. in Toronto after touching a high of C$33.10.

Harvey’s jingle “Harvey’s makes your hamburger a beautiful thing” has become an earworm for many Canadians during its 56-year history.

The gain is the best debut for a Canadian company with an IPO of at least $100 million since Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s 39 percent opening trade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Cara is owned by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and members of Canada’s Phelan family. The company has 837 restaurants across Canada and 10 brands including Milestones, Kelsey’s, Bier Markt and East Side Mario’s, according to filings.

Upon closing of the offering, Fairfax and the Phelan’s controls about 37.4 million multiple voting shares representing about 76 percent of Cara’s total issued and outstanding shares if an overallotment option is exercised, the company said in a release.

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