Burger King mulls sale to private equity firms: report

Burger King Holdings Inc, the second-largest hamburger chain after McDonalds, is considering selling itself to private equity firms.

Citing people familiar with the development, The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that Burger Kings was in talks with private equity firms on a possible sale and one of the interested buyers was British private equity firm 3i.

Miami-based Burger King, with a market capitalisation of around $2.26 billion and 2009 revenues of $2.5 billion, operates more than 12,000 restaurants in all the 50 states in the US and in 76 countries worldwide.

Although it has been a public company since 2006, Burger King has already passed through several buyout firms. The maker of Johnny Walker whisky, Diageo had sold Burger King to a group of private equity firms led by TPG Capital, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for $1.5 billion in 2002.

All of them still own around 32 per cent of the hamburger chain and have significant board representation.

London-based 3i is a world leader in private equity and a FTSE100 company with focus on buyouts, growth capital and infrastructure investing across Europe, Asia and North America, covering diversified sectors including business and financial services, healthcare, energy, technology, media, telecom etc.

The company had £9.6 billion of assets under management as on 31 March 2010.

3i portfolio companies include European fruit juice company Refresco, Oslo-based Xellia, a supplier and developer of active pharmaceutical ingredients, Indian clinical research firm Siro Clinpharm Private Limited and Nimbus Communications, among others.