Outdoor grills maker Weber valued at nearly $5 bln in debut as shares rise

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Aug 5 (Reuters) - Shares of Weber Inc (WEBR.N) rose over 20% in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Thursday, giving the outdoor grills maker a market capitalization of nearly $5 billion as the company cashes in on the growing popularity of barbecuing at home.

Weber's shares opened at $17, compared with their initial public offering (IPO) price of $14 per share.

The company downsized its IPO to about 17.9 million shares earlier in the day, less than half of what it was planning to sell earlier. read more

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At a price of $14 per share, Weber raised about $250 million in its IPO.

The Palatine, Illinois-based company, whose grill types include gas, electric and charcoal, made its debut a week after rival wood pellet grill maker Traeger Inc (COOK.N) started trading on the NYSE.

Weber was founded by George Stephen Sr., who invented the Weber Kettle - a dome-shaped charcoal grill - about 70 years ago.

In the United States, Weber boasts of a 23% market share, according to Frost and Sullivan estimates cited in its regulatory filing. Globally, it holds 24% of the market.

The company's revenue jumped 62% year-on-year in the six months ended March 31, driven by the increasing adoption of an outdoor lifestyle, Weber disclosed in the filing.

BDT Capital Partners, a U.S. fund run by Warren Buffett's banker Byron Trott, holds a controlling interest in the company in partnership with the Stephen family and management.

Entities including BDT will hold about 74% of the combined voting power of Weber's common stock after the offering.

Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities and J.P. Morgan were among the underwriters for the offering.

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Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Krishna Chandra Eluri

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