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Aussie fast food chain’s $3bn transformation

GUZMAN Y GOMEZ IPO
Guzman y Gomez went public on the ASX on June 20, 2024. Picture: NewsWire/ Monique Harmer

Shares in Mexican fast-food giant Guzman y Gomez have surged after the beloved burrito business went public today, pushing the value of the growing chain to $3bn.

The company’s massive initial public offering raised $335.1m from investors, which CEO and founder Steven Marks said he would use to fuel further expansion.

The IPO offered 11.1 million shares priced at $22 and it was oversubscribed, meaning there were plenty of buyers for the shares.

But after listing on the ASX at 12pm, the price zoomed upwards to $30 a share.

There were 669 buyers hunting 223,217 units at 12.40pm, according to CommSec.

GUZMAN Y GOMEZ IPO
Guzman is now a publicly traded company. Picture: NewsWire/ Monique Harmer

The company is looking to take on fast-food kingpin McDonald’s, with Mr Marks gunning to hit 1000 stores in the next two decades.

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At the moment, Guzman, known for its $3 tacos, boasts 185 stores across Australia and 210 worldwide after opening its first store in Sydney’s Newtown district in 2006.

The company is trading under the GYG ticker.

“Over the last 18 years, the team at GYG have been obsessed with providing our guests with the freshest, cleanest and fastest made-to-order Mexican-inspired food,” Mr Marks said in the company’s ASX listing announcement in May.

“I am incredibly proud to say that we now do this across more than 200 restaurants in Australia, Singapore, Japan and the US.

“And the most exciting part is that we are just getting started.

“As we commence the next chapter as an ASX-listed company, our vision to reinvent fast food and change the way the masses eat will remain central to what we do.

The owners of Guzman hope to expand to 1000 stores over the next 20 years. Picture: Guzman y Gomez via NCA NewsWire
The owners of Guzman hope to expand to 1000 stores over the next 20 years. Picture: Guzman y Gomez via NCA NewsWire
Guzman Y Gomez boss Steven Marks. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire
Guzman Y Gomez boss Steven Marks. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire

“We truly believe that fast food doesn’t have to be bad food and we look forward to sharing our food with more guests across Australia and overseas as we look to realise the opportunity we have to grow our network to more than 1,000 restaurants over the next 20 plus years.”

The New York-raised entrepreneur said he wanted to take the company public so the people who eat at the store could also own a piece of it.

“The dream for GYG was always having the people (who) eat at GYG, having the ability to own a piece of GYG. So we could not be more excited,” he told the ABC before the float.

He said the company had a dedicated real estate division with more than 30 people and 10 of them working full time to find “triple A locations”.

The blow-out listing, the largest IPO since November 2021, propels Guzman to one of the top 200 public companies in Australia.

ASX group executive Blair Beaton said Guzman’s entry onto the ASX board and strong price performance could trigger a “broader reopening” of the IPO market.

GUZMAN Y GOMEZ IPO
The Guzman share price surged in Thursday trading. Picture:NewsWire/ Monique Harmer

“The strong price performance today speaks to the appetite for investable opportunities in the Australian market and is a sign that investor confidence and demand for IPOs is beginning to return,” he said.

“We expect it will serve as the impetus for a broader reopening of the IPO market and adds to the existing demand we’ve seen for secondary capital raisings in recent years.

“We’re very engaged with the investment community and the conversations we’re having with companies are now about when to list.

“We remain optimistic that there will be more activity in the second half of this year.”