The owner of Burger King is buying Popeyes for $1.8B

Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International is buying Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for $79 per share, or $1.8 billion.

"Popeyes is a powerful brand with a rich Louisiana heritage that resonates with guests around the world," Restaurant Brands International CEO Daniel Schwartz said in a statement.

"With this transaction, RBI is adding a brand that has a distinctive position within a compelling segment and strong U.S. and international prospects for growth."

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The offer price represents a 27% premium. The deal will be financed with cash and a loan from JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.

Restaurant Brands International is a Canadian multinational that was formed when Burger King merged with the Canadian donut shop Tim Hortons in 2014.

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It is majority-owned by the Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital, led by the billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann. 3G is also heavily invested in Kraft Heinz, which last week attempted to merge with Unilever.

Here's the full press release:

OAKVILLE, ON and ATLANTA, GA, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Restaurant Brands International Inc. ("RBI") (NYSE/TSX: QSR, TSX: QSP) and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. ("Popeyes") (NASDAQ: PLKI) announced today that the companies have reached an agreement for RBI to acquire Popeyes for $79.00 per share in cash, or $1.8 billion.

The acquisition of Popeyes will add a successful, highly-regarded brand with strong customer loyalty to RBI, one of the largest global quick service restaurant companies with two of the world's most iconic QSR brands – BURGER KING® and TIM HORTONS®.

Founded in New Orleans in 1972, Popeyes has 45 years of history and culinary tradition and is the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants. Today Popeyes is one of the world's largest quick service restaurant chicken concepts with over 2,600 restaurants in the U.S. and 25 other countries around the world and its global footprint will complement RBI's existing portfolio of over 20,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories.

Following the closing of the transaction, Popeyes will continue to be managed independently in the U.S., while benefitting from the global scale and resources of RBI. Building on the momentum of recent years, RBI plans to continue developing the brand at an increasing pace in the U.S. and international markets in the years to come.

Daniel Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer of RBI, said, "Popeyes is a powerful brand with a rich Louisiana heritage that resonates with guests around the world. With this transaction, RBI is adding a brand that has a distinctive position within a compelling segment and strong U.S. and international prospects for growth. As Popeyes becomes part of the RBI family we believe we can deliver growth and opportunities for all of our stakeholders including our valued employees and franchisees. We look forward to taking an already very strong brand and accelerating its pace of growth and opening new restaurants in the U.S. and around the world."

Cheryl Bachelder, Chief Executive Officer of Popeyes, said, "I am proud of the superior results the Popeyes team has delivered in recent years; they have served all stakeholders well. As Popeyes enters its 45th year, its success reflects the amazing brand entrusted to us by founder Al Copeland, Sr. and the unique high trust partnership that we enjoy with our franchise owners. RBI has observed our success and seen the opportunity for exceptional future unit growth in the U.S. and around the world. The result is a transaction that delivers immediate and certain value to the Popeyes shareholders."

Structure and Terms

Under the terms of the transaction, Popeyes shareholders will receive $79.00 in cash per share at closing. This represents a premium of 27% based on Popeyes' 30-trading day Volume Weighted Average Price as of February 10, the last trading day before media speculation on the potential sale of Popeyes.

RBI will finance the transaction with cash on hand and a financing commitment from J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of certain regulatory approvals and receipt of a majority of Popeyes shares on a fully diluted basis in a tender offer to Popeyes' shareholders. Following the successful completion of the tender offer, RBI will acquire all remaining shares not tendered in the tender offer through a second-step merger at the same price. The transaction is expected to close by early April 2017.

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