Burger King Goes Private, Is Sold To 3G

The news was all over the papers last week: Burger King was for sale. Once the smoke cleared, it was announced that the world’s No. 2 burger chain had agreed to be purchased by private-equity firm 3G Capital for about $4 billion. At the time of the announcement, Burger King’s market value was estimated at $2.4 billion.

3G Capital and its affiliates will use debt financing to purchase all existing Burger King shares—including those still held by investment firms which bought the company from Diageo PLC in 2002—and will refinance the company’s current debt load. The deal will close, pending shareholder and regulatory approval, at the end of the year.

“We look forward to partnering with 3G Capital, whose proven track record as an investor, together with its financial and consumer brands experience, will serve to further strengthen the company, our restaurants and franchisees worldwide,” said Burger King Chairman and CEO John Chidsey in a statement. Chidsey will remain in his current capacity before assuming the newly created position of co-chairman, a post he will share with Alex Behring, managing partner of 3G Capital, when the transaction is finalized.

Other chains recently changing ownership include Rubio’s Restaurants, which closed its merger with Mill Road Capital, L.P. a subsidiary to take the company private. Rubio’s will retain its management team and its headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. Founder Ralph Rubio will maintain an ownership position and his seat on the board. And Max & Erma’s Restaurants has been sold to the co-owner of a Denver-based family restaurant chain, American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Fidelity Newport Holdings LLC. The company, which owns the Village Inn and Bakers Square dining chains, won an auction for the 87-unit chain last month.

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