NewsBurger King heats up competition with $1 billion franchise buy

Burger King heats up competition with $1 billion franchise buy

Burger King heats up competition with $1 billion franchise buy
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1:40 PM EST, January 16, 2024, updated: 1:58 PM EST, January 16, 2024

Through its parent company, Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI), Burger King has announced a significant business move: acquiring Carrols Restaurant Group Inc., its largest U.S. franchisee, in a deal valued at approximately $1 billion. This transaction is set to fast-track an ambitious overhaul of hundreds of Burger King locations to revitalize the brand and enhance customer experiences.

Key Details of the Acquisition

  • RBI plans to complete the purchase by the second quarter of 2024. The deal involves paying $9.55 per share for all Carrols shares not held by RBI or its affiliates, representing a 23% premium to Carrols’ 30-day volume-weighted average price.
  • The acquisition is a significant step in RBI's ongoing strategy to invest in new technology, boost advertising, and improve in-store experiences to counteract years of declining sales. This initiative began with an initial $400 million investment announced in September 2022.
  • Post-acquisition, RBI intends to remodel about 600 of the 1,022 Burger King restaurants operated by Carrols. These renovations aim to modernize the stores to align with the brand's current image standards.

The acquisition aligns with Burger King's "Reclaim the Flame" plan, launched in 2022, focusing on store remodels, operational improvements, marketing enhancements, and digital and technology advancements. Following the remodels, RBI will refranchise most newly acquired restaurants to smaller, local franchisees over the next seven years, retaining a few hundred for strategic purposes like innovation and training. With its strong operational track record, Carrols has been a valuable asset to Burger King. The company generated about $1.8 billion in system sales in the 12 months ending September 30 and has recently reached record levels of profitability.

Analysts suggest that this decision to buy and subsequently franchise the locations could be a masterstroke, allowing RBI to maintain control over the brand image while leveraging the local expertise of smaller franchisees. This strategy could improve operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, crucial in the highly competitive fast-food sector.

Overall, acquiring Carrols Restaurant Group by Restaurant Brands International represents a bold and strategic step towards revitalizing the Burger King brand. It reflects a significant investment in the future of the company, with a focus on modernization, efficiency, and an enhanced customer experience.

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