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Dunkin' Brands Shares Soar After Debut

CNBC.com with Reuters
Wednesday, 27 Jul 2011 | 11:03 AM ET
Dunkin Donuts
Mario Tama | Getty Images
Dunkin Donuts

Shares of Dunkin' Brands, the parent of the Dunkin' Donuts coffee chain and Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores, soared more than 40 percent shortly after its trading debut on Wednesday.

Dunkin' Brands sold $422.75 million worth of shares at $19 apiece on Tuesday in the biggest IPO deal of the week, which reflected strong institutional demand for well-known growth companies.

Dunkin' shares jumped to $26.90 shortly after opening on the Nasdaq.

The company's market value is now more than $3 billion—significantly smaller than rivals McDonald's and Starbucks .

Chief Executive Nigel Travis told CNBC Wednesday the company does not regret the low IPO price.

"No, we’re celebrating. These are two great brands. It's a great growth story," he said. "I think people will be pleased with our business going forward. We’re certainly not kicking ourselves at all."

The Dunkin' Donuts chain sells coffee, doughnuts and food and is the company's primary growth engine.

It "helps" that Dunkin' Donuts coffee is priced less than at Starbucks, Travis said, but "we’ve always seen ourselves as a seller of beverages, not just coffee."

Dunkin' Donuts customers are the most loyal in the U.S. coffee segment, ahead of fans of Starbucks, McDonald's and Canadian chain Tim Hortons .

Customers value the lower price and spending less time in line, Travis told CNBC. "That’s our positioning. We have so many consumers in this northeast quadrant of the country who love Dunkin Donuts. They’re real fans. It means a lot to a lot of people."

Dunkin' Donuts plans to double the number of U.S. outlets from roughly 6,800 over the coming 20 years.

The chain has most of its stores on the East Coast and sees the U.S. West, where it has just over 100 outlets, as a key growth market. Travis said the proceeds from the offering will be used to pay down debt, invest in the business—including more hiring—and building its international business, which he called a "huge opportunity." (Travis details the company's expansion plans here.)

JPMorgan , Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley , Bank of America Merrill Lynch , and Goldman Sachs were the lead IPO underwriters.

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