Burger King has snapped up a swathe of restaurants from its second largest franchise partner, in its largest ever franchise consolidation.
The fast food chain’s UK arm said an indirect acquisition of all 74 restaurants under Karali Limited and Teresina Limited would boost its plans to expand its owned and sub-franchised portfolio.
Burger King UK’s directly owned portfolio now sits at 266 restaurants, meaning the firm now has direct ownership of around half of its 533 strong UK store estate. It hopes to grow to an estate of more than 700 within the next four years.
The chain – which last year was reported to be eyeing a whopper £600m London listing – has also inked £100m fixed-term financing from blue-chip lenders, NatWest and Rabobank plus new lender AIG.
A pipeline of new restaurant openings will also see the burger brand open one site per week until the end of 2022.
The acquisition of Karali was described as “an important milestone” by chief exec Alasdair Murdoch, as it would help the firm with “enhancing value and driving operational efficiencies.”
“We believe that we have a strong expansion pipeline and are well positioned to take advantage of the clear market opportunities ahead,” he added.
In results for the year ended 31 December 2021, the fast food chain said its total revenue had shot up 68 per cent to £211.7m, surging well ahead of pre-Covid levels. Its adjusted EBITDA nearly tripled to £49.5m.
Some 48 new owned restaurants were opened in 2021, including 19 new restaurant openings and the acquisition of 29 sub-franchised restaurants. These openings included a flagship Leicester Square site.