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Popeyes Spikes 19% After $1.8 Billion Acquisition Deal with Burger King Owner

Joseph Lu

Restaurant Brands International Inc. QSR, owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons, has reached a deal with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. PLKI to acquire the fried chicken chain for $1.8 billion.

Restaurant Brands will pay Popeyes shareholder $79 per share, a 19% premium to Friday price at market close.

Popeyes is currently up 19% at $78.77 per share, while Restaurant Brands is up almost 7% at $57.50 per share.

Reuters reported on Feb. 13 that Restaurant Brands approached Popeyes about possible acquisition. This is the first major acquisition that Restaurant Brands has made since the company was formed in 2014 through the merger of Burger King and Tim Hortons. 

“We get to add another iconic, incredible brand with this really rich Louisiana heritage,” said Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands, in a press release. “We see it resonating with guests all around the world, and we see an opportunity to massively accelerate the growth.”

Popeyes will continue to operate and manage independently in Atlanta.

Popeyes began 45 years ago as a Southern-fried “Chicken on the Run” restaurant in a New Orleans Suburb. The company has since expanded to more than 2,600 stores in the U.S. and 25 other countries.

Restaurant Brands, backed heavily by 3G Capital, a Brazilian private equity firm, was created in 2014 when Burger King bought Tim Hortons Inc. for $11 billion. The company said the transaction is being paid for with cash on hand and a financing commitment from J.P. Morgan JPM and Wells Fargo WFC.

The acquisition is expected to close by early April 2017.

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