Burger King (TSE:QSR) is Buying Popeyes for $1.8 Billion

25 February, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Elaine Woods
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In a move that might well mean the end of the oft-maligned "chicken fry", Burger King and its parent company have purchased Popeyes Chicken.

The 45-year-old Popeyes, with more than 2,600 locations in the USA and 25 other countries, has for months been considered a potential target for Restaurant Brands. In the deal, shareholders of Popeyes will gain $79 per share, which represents a 19.5% premium of the stock's Friday closing prices. Since then, the company has been striking deals with local operators to open additional locations around the world.

Even more compelling, perhaps, is the fact that Popeyes is almost full franchised, with roughly 98 per cent of its locations operating under this model.

Founded in New Orleans in 1972, Popeyes has grown to become a major competitor in the fast-food market, taking on the likes of KFC - formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Popeyes will continue to be independently managed inside the US, but the company is looking to expand their presence internationally. Building on the momentum of recent years, RBI plans to continue developing the brand at an increasing pace in the US and global markets in the years to come.

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Popeyes preferred Restaurant Brands' all-cash offer because Roark's bid was seen as having a higher execution risk, the people said.

"We look forward to taking an already very strong brand and accelerating its pace of growth and opening new restaurants in the USA and around the world", Schwartz added. "The team has done a great job setting the foundation for future growth." he further stated that the Popeyes is going to be managed independently.

Bachelder, it should be noted, has been credited as one of the key forces in Popeyes' success in recent years; the chain had been flagging in the early aughts, but Bachelder came on as chief executive in 2007 and brought with her a laser focus on data and in-store makeovers.

"The result is a transaction that delivers immediate and certain value to the Popeyes shareholders", she added.

Restaurant Brands said on Tuesday it would finance the deal with cash on hand and a financing commitment from J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo.

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