Burger King owner to buy Popeyes chicken chain

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Burger King owner Restau­rant Brands is to ex­pand its fast food em­pire by buy­ing chicken chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for $1.8bn in cash.

Popeyes, whose fans in­clude pop singer Bey­once, be­gan 45 years ago as a South­ern-fried "Chicken on the Run" restau­rant in a New Or­leans sub­urb.

The chain now has more than 2,600 out­lets, mainly in the US.

Restau­rant Brands, which in­cludes the Tim Hor­tons chain, has more than 20,000 out­lets in more than 100 coun­tries.

The $1.8bn deal will see Popeyes share­hold­ers get $79 for each share they hold. Me­dia spec­u­la­tion about the sale be­gan on 10 Fe­bru­ary, Restau­rant Brands said in a state­ment.

Daniel Schwartz, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Restau­rant Brands, said: "We look for­ward to tak­ing an al­ready very strong brand and ac­cel­er­at­ing its pace of growth and open­ing new restau­rants in the US and around the world."

Restau­rant Brands was formed in 2014, when 3G Cap­i­tal-backed Burger King ac­quired Cana­dian cof­fee and dough­nut chain Tim Hor­tons for $11bn.

The fast food giant said it would pay for the Popeyes deal with "cash in hand" and fi­nanc­ing from JP Mor­gan and Wells Fargo.

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