Shares of Burger King's parent company rose 3% from their initial public offering price Thursday, in their first day of trading.
"It's a historic day for Burger King," said John Chidsey, chief executive of Burger King Holdings Inc. "We've been waiting 52 years for this day. It's an honor for us to finally be public."
Burger King sold 25 million shares of common stock at $17 each in its IPO, completed late Wednesday. The shares represent about 19% of the company's total, putting its overall value at about $2.25 billion.
That still leaves the nation's second-biggest hamburger chain far behind its two biggest rivals -- McDonald's Corp., which has a market value of about $43 billion, and No. 3 Wendy's, which is worth about $7 billion.