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

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(Reuters) -Shares of Weber Inc 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. 

  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 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. 

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