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Burger King Agrees To Buyout

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bk Burger King Agrees To Buyout

A Burger King restaurant. (AP)

Burger King Holdings Inc. said Thursday that it is selling itself to private equity firm 3G Capital in a deal valued at $3.26 billion.  Its shares soared to an 18-month high.

Thursday’s $24-per-share offer comes after a day of speculation about the deal sent shares up more than 15 percent. The offer is a nearly 46 percent premium over the company’s stock price before rumors began circulating about the deal.

Burger King is the nation’s second-largest hamburger chain behind its far-larger rival McDonald’s Corp. But with 12,100 locations, it’s struggled because the economy has been bad for its most important group of customers: young men.

Under the terms of the deal with 3G, Burger King’s Chairman and CEO John Chidsey will become co-chairman of the board. 3G Managing Partner Alex Behring will be the other co-chairman.

Burger King became publicly traded in 2006, four years after a consortium of private equity firms acquired the company.

The group TPG Capital, Bain Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs Funds still own 31 percent of Burger King’s outstanding shares and have agreed to tender their stock in the deal.

3G is expected to begin its effort to acquire the outstanding shares by Sept. 17.

Burger King shares rose $4.40, or 23 percent, to $23.26 in morning trading Thursday.

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