Restaurant Brands to buy largest US Burger King franchisee for $1B

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By Dan Sears

Burger King-owner Restaurant Brands International is acquiring the largest franchisee of the fast food chain, Carrols Restaurant Group, for $1 billion in cash.

Toronto-based RBI announced on Tuesday that it reached an agreement to pay $9.55 per share for Carrols, which operates 1,022 Burger King restaurants across 23 states, plus 60 Popeyes locations in 60 states.

The share price represents a 23.1% premium on Carrols’ 30-day volume weighted average price as of Jan. 12, and a 13.4% premium on the Jan. 12 closing price, the press release said.

RBI added that it plans “to remodel acquired restaurants over the next five years, accelerating Burger King’s path to modern image.”

It’s calling the initiative the “‘Reclaim the Flame’ plan to accelerate sales growth and drive franchisee profitability.”

RBI said its transaction with Carrols “follows the brand’s initial $400 million investment announced in September 2022 to drive high quality remodels, improve operations, enhance marketing and support ongoing technology and digital priorities.”

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A general view of a Burger King restaurant as seen in Little Falls, NJ on April 29, 2018.
Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International said Tuesday that it reached a deal with Carrols Restaurant Group to acquire the 1,022 Burger King restaurants it operates by the second quarter of 2024. Christopher Sadowski

The 1,000-plus Burger King locations previously owned by Carrols locations generated roughly $1.8 billion in sales for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2023, per the press release.

For reference, the average singular Burger King franchise makes about $1.39 million in sales per year, according to financial modeling platform SharpSheets.

RBI said it “plans to invest approximately $500 million of capital, funded by Carrols’ operating cash flow, to remodel approximately 600 acquired restaurants that are not currently considered modern image.”

Once the outposts from Carrols’ portfolio are revamped, RBI said it will “put them back into the hands of motivated, local franchisees.”

The deal is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2024.

Representatives for RBI and Carrols did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Burger King's New Homecoming Meal, people hold burgers while wearing corsages
RBI reportedly has plans “to remodel approximately 600 acquired restaurants that are not currently considered modern image” before selling them to “motivated, local franchisees.” Burger King

In the press release, RBI CEO Josh Kobza, said: “This is a terrific example of our commitment to put our capital to work to accelerate growth and support Tom [Curtis, president of Burger King US and Canada] and his team in their broader efforts to have a more competitive Burger King restaurant base.”

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Carrols’ president and CEO Deborah Derby added: “We believe our team members will now have additional opportunities as part of the greater RBI family — in our office, in the field and especially in our restaurants, including for long-time managers who may want to become franchisees themselves. We look forward to working closely with Tom and the rest of the Burger King team in the months and years ahead.”

The Post has also sought comment from Burger King.

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