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Shake Shack burger chain plans to grow in Japan

February 17, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — The Shake Shack burger chain, fresh off its IPO, said Tuesday that it plans to open restaurants in Japan as it expands overseas.

New York-based Shake Shack raised $105 million in an initial public offering last month to help fund its growth. It then had 63 locations.

Known for its burgers, milk shakes and crinkle-cut fries, the chain’s biggest presence is in New York, with 15 shops.

But it has locations in other U.S. cities — its first Baltimore restaurant opened Monday — and overseas, including in London, Istanbul and Moscow.

It plans to open 10 restaurants this year and eventually grow to about 450.

Shake Shack said it signed a licensing agreement with Japanese company Sazaby League Ltd., which has opened Starbucks coffee shops in Japan. The plan is to open 10 Shake Shacks in Japan by 2020. A Tokyo restaurant is expected in 2016.

The Japanese restaurants will have typical Shake Shack menus, with items such as the ShackBurger, a cheeseburger topped with ShackSauce.

Shares of Shake Shack Inc. fell $1.24, or 3.1 percent, to $39.45 in midday trading Tuesday. Its shares are up 87 percent from their IPO price of $21.

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