CHICAGO — Burger King Holdings Inc., the perennially No. 2 hamburger chain in North America, said Thursday that it is selling itself to little-known private equity firm 3G Capital in a deal valued at US$3.26 billion.
Its shares soared to an 18-month high. Thursday’s $24-per-share tender offer comes after a day of speculation about the deal that sent shares up more than 15 per cent. The offer is a nearly 46 per cent premium over the company’s stock price before rumours of a buyout began circulating.
Under the terms of the deal with 3G, Burger King’s Chairman and CEO John Chidsey will become co-chairman of the board and will be joined by 3G Managing Partner Alex Behring as the other co-chairman. Burger King, with its 12,100 locations around the world, lags its far larger competitor McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD), and has struggled to keep up with its rival during the economy’s rollercoaster of the past two years.