Burger King owner will buy out its biggest franchisee in US for about $1 billion
The parent company of Burger King is buying out its biggest franchisee in the U.S. for about $1 billion and will renovate hundreds of its locations.
Restaurant Brands International Inc. will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. that it doesn't already hold for $9.55 per share.
Carrols runs 1,022 Burger King restaurants in 23 states. It also owns and operates 60 Popeyes restaurants.
"We are going to rapidly remodel these restaurants over the next five years or so and put them back into the hands of motivated, local franchisees to create amazing experiences for our guests," Tom Curtis, president of Burger King U.S. and Canada, said Tuesday in a prepared statement.
The deal is part of Burger King's plan to accelerate sales growth and drive franchisee profitability. The brand plans to invest approximately $500 million, funded by Carrols' operating cash flow, to remodel about 600 of the acquired Carrols restaurants.
Burger King anticipates the refranchising of the acquired restaurants being completed in five to seven years. The brand plans to keep a couple of hundred restaurants in its company restaurant portfolio.
The transaction includes a 30-day "go shop" period where Carrols can solicit alternative proposals from interested parties.
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. It still needs approval from those that hold a majority of common stock held by Carrols stockholders excluding shares held by RBI and its affiliates and officers of Carrols. It also needs approval from those that hold a majority of outstanding common stock of Carrols.
Restaurant Brands, which is based in Canada, posts full-year earnings for 2023 next month.
In the third quarter, the company topped Wall Street expectations, putting up earnings of $252 million, and shares hit a 52 week high earlier this month.
Shares of Restaurant Brands are down slightly before the opening bell. Shares of Carrols Restaurant Group Inc., jumped almost 13%.