Burger King in talks to buy Tim Hortons and move HQ to Canada

New York -- Burger King Worldwide is in discussions to buy Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons. The two companies said in a joint statement on Monday that the new publicly listed entity would be based in Canada. The move comes as the White House is calling on Congress to take steps to prevent U.S. companies from moving outside the country (“tax inversions”).

The two restaurant companies are currently worth a combined total of about $18 billion, according to media reports.

Under the terms of the deal, which is not yet finalized, 3G Capital, the majority owner of Burger King, would continue to own the majority of the shares of the new company on a pro forma basis, with the remainder held by existing shareholders of Tim Hortons and Burger King. Tim Hortons and Burger King would operate as standalone brands.

According to the statement issued by the two companies, the deal would create the world's third-largest quick-service restaurant company, with approximately $22 billion in system sales and over 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide.

“Tim Hortons and Burger King each have strong franchisee networks and iconic brands that are loved by their respective consumers,” the companies stated. “Any transaction will be structured to preserve these relationships and deepen the connections each brand has with its guests, franchisees, employees and communities.

A key driver of the discussions is the potential to leverage Burger King's worldwide footprint and experience in global development to accelerate Tim Hortons growth in international markets, the companies stated.

The Burger King system has more than 13,000 locations serving more than 11 million guests daily in 98 countries and territories worldwide.

As of June 29, 2014, Tim Hortons had 4,546 systemwide restaurants, including 3,630 in Canada, 866 in the United States and 50 in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

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