Can the Brazilians Rescue Burger King?

“I’ve been to this movie a few times.” Such was the response of one prominent Burger King franchisee, when asked his reaction to the $4 billion leveraged buyout that will take the country’s no. 2 hamburger chain private for the second time in the past decade. In 2002, investment firms TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners bought Burger King from Diageo, the U.K.-based spirits maker, for $1.5 billion. The company tapped the public markets in 2006, but now 3G Capital Management, a New York investment firm backed by prominent Brazilian businessmen, has agreed to acquire the chain for $24 a share, a 46% premium on Burger King’s August 31 closing price.

To this skeptical franchisee, these ownership shuffles threaten to mask the more crucial issues facing the company: lousy sales — down 1.4% for the fiscal year ending on June 30, lousy profits down 6.6% during the period and lousy relations between the company and its franchisees last November, the local owners sued Burger King over its insistence that franchises sell Double Cheeseburgers for just $1.


A meal at a Burger King restaurant.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

“I’ve been to this movie a few times.” Such was the response of one prominent Burger King franchisee, when asked his reaction to the $4 billion leveraged buyout that will take the country’s no. 2 hamburger chain private for the second time in the past decade. In 2002, investment firms TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners bought Burger King from Diageo, the U.K.-based spirits maker, for $1.5 billion. The company tapped the public markets in 2006, but now 3G Capital Management, a New York investment firm backed by prominent Brazilian businessmen, has agreed to acquire the chain for $24 a share, a 46% premium on Burger King’s August 31 closing price.

To this skeptical franchisee, these ownership shuffles threaten to mask the more crucial issues facing the company: lousy sales — down 1.4% for the fiscal year ending on June 30, lousy profits down 6.6% during the period and lousy relations between the company and its franchisees last November, the local owners sued Burger King over its insistence that franchises sell Double Cheeseburgers for just $1. Leer más “Can the Brazilians Rescue Burger King?”

Burger King Agrees to $4 Billion Bid From 3G Capital

Transactions in the restaurant industry have picked up as the U.S. economy begins to recover, with rival chains such as Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc. attracting interest. 3G, based in New York, has shown interest in fast-food chains in the past, disclosing last year that it owned about 4.2 million shares of Wendy’s/Arby’s. 3G’s disclosure of holdings as of June 30 didn’t show any Wendy’s/Arby’s shares.

Behring’s History

3G managing partner Alexandre Behring has ties to fellow Brazilian Jorge Paulo Lemann, having spent a decade at the buyout firm the 71-year-old billionaire founded. Lemann and three of his fellow directors at Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world’s largest brewer, also are directors of 3G, according to a regulatory filing from the beer company.

John Chidsey, Burger King’s chief executive officer, will remain CEO through a transition period, according to the statement. Chidsey will then become co-chairman of the board along with Behring.

Burger King gets about two-thirds of its revenue from the U.S. and Canada. The chain also operates in Latin America, Europe and parts of Asia. Total sales fell 1.4 percent to $2.5 billion in the year ended June 30, Burger King said last week.

TPG Inc., Bain Capital LLC and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bought Burger King from Diageo Plc in 2002 before selling shares to the public again four years later. The three own about one- third of Burger King and agreed to tender their shares into the offer.

Lazard Ltd., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, and Barclays Capital advised 3G. Burger King was advised by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 3G Capital’s legal advisers were Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Burger King’s were Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Holland & Knight LLP.


By Duane D. Stanford and Burt Helm

(Bloomberg) — Burger King Holdings Inc. agreed to be acquired by 3G Capital in a deal valued at $4 billion including debt, giving the New York investment firm control over the second-largest U.S. hamburger chain.

The $24-a-share price is 46 percent more than Miami-based Burger King’s close Aug. 31, before reports of a deal surfaced. Under the terms of the agreement, Burger King can solicit superior bids through Oct. 12, according to a statement today.

The chain’s sales growth has slowed for two straight years as consumers ate out less to deal with the U.S. economic slump. Burger King, which trails only McDonald’s Corp. in the U.S., has seen a slower recovery than its larger rival as its clientele suffered more from the recession, said Tom Forte, an analyst at New York-based Telsey Advisory Group.

“Burger King’s heavy user — young, male, and more likely to be a minority — has had a higher rate of unemployment than the McDonald’s consumer,” Forte said in a telephone interview.

Burger King rose $4.55, or 24 percent, to $23.41 at 10:24 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The gain was the largest since May 2006, when the company went public.

The deal values Burger King at 9 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization in the year ended June 30. Over the past five years, U.S. restaurant acquisitions closed at a median multiple of 8.2, according to Bloomberg data. Leer más “Burger King Agrees to $4 Billion Bid From 3G Capital”