Get 'Em While They're Hot
Bloomberg Businessweek|July 19, 2021
After their smokin’ pandemic-era growth, grill makers Weber and Traeger are going public
Crystal Tse and Gerald Porter Jr

Buoyed by a rush of locked-down homeowners investing in high-end barbecue gear, grill makers are taking advantage of soaring sales to go public.

Within a week of the traditional U.S. barbecuing holiday, July Fourth, two companies filed paperwork for initial public offerings. Traeger Inc. and Weber Inc., the biggest American manufacturers of barbecue grills, will tap public investors for the first time this summer after decades of being closely held. And BBQGuys, an online retailer of grills, outdoor kitchens, and other accessories, whose investors include football greats Eli and Peyton Manning, is in talks to go public through a merger with Velocity Acquisition Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter. The combined company is set to be valued at about $900 million, including debt, they say.

So-called stay-at-home trades have proven popular for investors over the past year, as consumers spent more money on their immediate surroundings after being kept away from restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues by state- and countrywide pandemic lockdowns.

Sales at both Traeger and Weber have surged, giving the companies some of their best quarterly results ever. Revenue was up 50% at Traeger in 2020, and sales climbed 60% at Weber in the six months through March. One reason: Throwing a few steaks on the barbie doesn’t come cheap these days. Barbecue enthusiasts can spend as much as $4,000 on a Weber gas grill before adding any accessories, and Traeger’s outdoor kitchen setups can run to the tens of thousands of dollars.

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