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Danny Meyer Possibly on Verge of $140 Million IPO Bonanza

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Danny Meyer, already a man of considerable wealth, is apparently about to have an enormous windfall.

The founder of Union Square Hospitality Group has owned more than a dozen acclaimed restaurants, including the iconic Union Square Café, and his foodie empire includes books, consulting, events and other services, CNBC said.

But the man who made a fortune from his richly comforting oxtail risottos and chestnut-bread puddings may make an even bigger fortune from burgers and fries, the report said.

According to regulatory filings, Meyer owns 7, 440, 822 shares of Class B stock of Shake Shack, the burger chain he founded in 2004 that’s spreading like wildfire and is expected to go public this week. The filing states that the IPO would value Shake Shack at around $674.5 million, at a share price of $17 to $19 a share, according to CNBC.

At those valuations, Meyer’s shares—which represent 21 percent of the company—would be worth $127 million to $141 million. And the stock is likely to shoot higher once it opens, the report said.

Shake Shack declined to comment on the IPO or Meyer’s wealth. Yet Meyer’s potential windfall, setting aside his existing wealth, instantly makes him one of the richest restaurateurs in the country, CNBC said.

Meyer has said little about wealth or money as his motivator, the report said. As he told The New York Times in 2011, “My favorite thing is watching people enjoy our food. I get sort of an insane amount of pleasure out of that.”

That pleasure may be even sweeter, however, after the IPO, CNBC said.

Shake Shack, which was started as a hot-dog stand in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park in 2001, now has 63 stores around the world, from Chicago to Dubai, Bloomberg said.

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