New York City Fast-food burger chain Burger King said Thursday it has agreed to sell itself to a private-equity firm with roots in Brazil in a deal valued at $4 billion, according to a report by the New York Times.
The deal is the largest leveraged buyout of a fast-food chain ever, according to the market researcher CapitalIQ who was cited in the Times article, and the second for Burger King in the last eight years.
Burger King’s potential new owner, 3G Capital, is backed by wealthy Brazilians, including a billionaire and former tennis champion whom Warren E. Buffett called a “good friend,” said the Times.
The investment firm plans to expand Burger King’s presence internationally, especially in Latin America and Asia.
“The iconic Burger King brand, its solid franchisee network and great product offerings make this a perfect fit for 3G Capital,” Alexandre Behring, 3G’s managing partner, said in a statement.
Burger King chairman and CEO John Chidsey is expected to retain his current roles until the deal closes. After that, Behring will take on the title of co-chairman alongside Chidsey. 3G is working with the company to find a new chief executive.
Under the terms of the deal, 3G will pay $3.26 billion for Burger King.
3G expects to begin its tender offer no later than Sept. 17 and to close the deal in the fourth quarter this year. Burger King has the right to solicit higher offers through Oct. 12 under what is known as a “go shop” period.