Belfast Telegraph

Burger King and Tim Hortons in merger

Burger King has confirmed its mega deal to buy Canadian doughnut giant Tim Hortons for about $11bn, a move that could help give the fast-food company a stronger foothold in the coffee and breakfast market.

The corporate headquarters of the new company will be in Canada, which may also help Burger King lower its taxes.

Such tax inversions have been criticised by President Barack Obama and Congress because they mean a loss of tax revenue for the US government.

Burger King and Tim Hortons said the chains will continue to be run independently and that Burger King will still operate out of Miami.

The tie-up could help both Burger King and Tim Hortons pose a greater challenge to market leaders such as McDonald's and Starbucks.

It also reflects a desire by both companies to expand internationally.

Burger King, which has about 14,000 locations, has been striking deals to open more locations in developing markets.

The company sees plenty of room for growth internationally, given the more than 35,000 locations McDonald's has around the world.

Tim Hortons has more than 4,500 locations, mostly in Canada.

Back in the US, breakfast and coffee have been hot growth areas in the fast-food industry.

Between 2007 and 2012, breakfast grew faster than other segments in the restaurant industry at about 5% a year, according to market researcher Technomic. But it has long remained a weak spot for Burger King.

McDonald's led the category with 31% of the market in 2012, while Burger King had just 3% to 4%, according to Technomic.

Under the deal, Burger King Worldwide Inc will pay $65.50 Canadian ($59.74) in cash and 0.8025 common shares of the new company for each Tim Hortons share.

Belfast Telegraph