NEW YORK -- Burger King is back on the New York Stock Exchange.
The world's No. 2 hamburger chain began trading as a public company again Wednesday under the ticker symbol "BKW." Shares gained 53 cents, or 3.7%, to $15.01 by the close of trading.
The Miami-based chain last traded as a public company between 2006 and 2010, before it was purchased and taken private by investment firm 3G Capital.
Burger King's return to the Big Board wasn't through an initial public offering, however. 3G Capital announced an unusual deal in April to sell a minority stake to Justice Holdings, a London-based entity specifically set up to invest in another company. 3G Capital received $1.4 billion in exchange and retains a 71% stake in the company.
Under the deal, Justice suspended trading on the London Stock Exchange once the deal was complete and emerged as Burger King Worldwide on the New York Stock Exchange.
Only 16% of shares are available for sale to investors.
The founders of Justice Holdings will hold onto their 13% of shares for at least one year as part of the deal. 3G Capital will hold onto its 71% stake for at least six months.
Among Justice's founders are Bill Ackman, an activist investor and founder of Pershing Square Capital Management; Martin Franklin, founder and executive chairman of consumer products company Jarden Corp.; Alan Parker, former CEO of Whitbread, the United Kingdom's largest hotel and restaurant company; and investor Nicolas Berggruen.
Franklin and Parker will join Burger King's board as part of the deal. 3G Capital has said that no other changes will be made to the senior leadership and that the company will continue its focus on turning around the brand.
As the fast-food market becomes increasingly crowded at home, Burger King like other companies has focused on expansion overseas. The company recently announced plans to open hundreds of restaurants in Russia and 1,000 in China over the next several years. That's in addition to similar expansion plans for Brazil announced last year.
In the past year, 80% of new store openings were in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Back in the U.S., Burger King has been working to refresh its outdated image and win back lost market share. The company launched its biggest menu expansion ever in April, with items including fruit smoothies, specialty salads and coffee frappes. The chain is abandoning its strategy of courting young men and going after a broader customer base of moms and families.
Burger King has more than 12,500 restaurants worldwide, compared with 33,000 for McDonald's Corp.
A look at Burger King's ownership history:
-1954 - David Edgerton opens Insta Burger King in Miami, selling 18-cent fire-grilled hamburgers and 18-cent milkshakes. Three months later, Jim McLamore matches Edgerton's capital and the co-founders form a corporation called Burger King of Miami Inc.
-1963 - South Florida Restaurants Inc. changes its name to Burger King Corp.
-1967 - The Pillsbury Co. acquires Burger King Corp. for $18 million. There are 274 restaurants in operation with a total of 8,000 employees.
-1988 - Grand Metropolitan PLC acquires The Pillsbury Co. and its subsidiaries, including Burger King, for $5.79 billion.
-1997 - Grand Metropolitan merges with Guinness to create a new company, Diageo PLC.
-2000 - Diageo announces its intention to spin off Burger King Corp. from its portfolio.
-2002 - A group comprised of Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners buys Burger King for $1.5 billion.
-2006 - Burger King goes public.
-2010 - Burger King is acquired by 3G Capital and taken private. The new owners begin a yearlong process of reviving the ailing business with new menu items and remodeled stores.
-2012 - Burger King returns to the New York Stock Exchange after 3G Capital sells a 29% stake in the hamburger chain for $1.4 billion in cash to Justice Holdings LTD, a U.K.-based entity specifically set up by investors to buy a company.