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Burger King Owner Restaurant Brands to Acquire Largest Franchisee for $1 Billion

Burger King

Restaurant Brands International, the owner of the Burger King brand, will acquire Carrols Restaurant Group, the largest Burger King franchisee in the United States, for about $1 billion.

Over the next five years, RBI will remodel about 600 of the 1,022 Burger King restaurants operated by Carrols that are “not currently considered modern image,” the company said in a Tuesday (Jan. 16) press release.

It will then refranchise most of the newly acquired restaurants to smaller, local franchisees within the next seven years, according to the release. Burger King will retain “a couple of hundred” of the restaurants to use for “strategic innovation, training and operator development.”

“Carrols has demonstrated strong and improving restaurant operations over the years,” Tom Curtis, president of Burger King U.S. and Canada, said in the release. “This acquisition is an exciting accelerator to our ‘Reclaim the Flame’ plan that is focused on relentlessly pursuing a better experience for our guests.”

Carrols generated about $1.8 billion of system sales during the 12 months ended Sept. 30, according to the release. The company also owns and operates 60 Popeyes restaurants.

The company achieved record levels of profitability over the past 12 months, allowing it to sell at an “attractive premium” to its current and historical share prices, Carrols President and CEO Deborah Derby said in the release.

RBI’s acquisition of Carrols is part of Burger King’s “Reclaim the Flame” plan that was launched in September 2022 when the brand made an initial investment of $400 million to remodel stores, improve operations, enhance marketing, and support ongoing technology and digital priorities, per the release.

Speaking about the “Reclaim the Flame” plan during an October earnings call, RBI Executive Chairman Patrick Doyle said, “I think that long term, there is more we will consider doing, especially around digital-centric remodels.”

The acquisition of Carrols is expected to be completed in the second quarter, subject to regulatory and customary closing conditions, according to the Tuesday press release.

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