Privately-held fast food restaurant operator Burger King Worldwide Holdings, Inc. announced Wednesday the completion of its business combination with a subsidiary of Justice Holdings Ltd., and will now list again on the New York Stock Exchange today under a new ticker symbol "BKW."
Private-equity firm 3G Capital, owner of Burger King, agreed in early April to sell a 29 percent stake in it to U.K.-based investment vehicle Justice Holdings Ltd. (JUSH.L) for about $1.4 billion in cash.
3G Capital will now continue as a major shareholder by retaining a 71 percent stake in the combined entity to be called Burger King Worldwide, Inc. (BKW: Quote). Meanwhile, the former Justice shareholders and Justice founders will now own about 29 percent of the combined publicly traded entity.
As per the deal, the shares of Justice Holdings, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in February, will be suspended from trading on the LSE and the combined entity will list and begin trading on the NYSE from today. Burger King previously traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol 'BKC' from 2006 to October 2010.
The unusual deal will not see Burger King re-list on the NYSE through an initial public offering. However, only 16 percent of shares will be available to retail investors when the stock begins trading again, a statement attributed to a Burger King spokesman said.
Justice Holdings is a vehicle founded by billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen, Pershing Square Capital Management founder Bill Ackman and Jarden Corp. (JAH) Executive Chairman Martin Franklin. It was formed last year with the goal of buying a company with an enterprise value of between $2 billion and $10 billion by February 2014.
As part of the deal, Franklin and Alan Parker, one of Justice's independent directors and former CEO of Whitbread PLC, will join the board of directors, along with all existing Burger King board members. However, Burger King's long-term strategy and its entire senior management team will remain unchanged.
Founded in 1954, Miami, Florida-based Burger King is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world after McDonald's Corp. (MCD). It operates more than 12,500 restaurants in the U.S. and in 81 countries.
The burger chain will be listing in the public market again after it was taken private by New York-based investment fund 3G Capital in October 2010, when it acquired Burger King for $24.00 per share in cash, or a $4.0 billion leveraged deal.
A group led by private-equity firms Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital Partners, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners initially took Burger King public in 2006. The group acquired the company in 2002 from Diageo Plc. (DEO, DEG.L) for $1.5 billion and moved its ownership back to the U.S.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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