Diageo finalizes sale of Burger King to investor consortium, at a discount - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Diageo finalizes sale of Burger King to investor consortium, at a discount

MIAMI (AP) _ Diageo PLC, the world's largest liquor company, has finalized the $1.5 billion sale of Burger King to an equity sponsor group, it announced Friday.

Earlier this year, venture capital firms Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners agreed to purchase the Miami-based fast-food chain for $2.26 billion.

But in November, the group insisted on negotiating more favorable terms, resulting in the $1.5 billion price tag.

London-based Diageo has been seeking since June 2000 to sell Burger King so that it could focus on its drinks business, company officials have said.

``We continued to review our options but concluded that this transaction with this buying group was the most certain route to achieving separation,'' Diageo CEO Paul Walsh said in a statement released Friday.

Texas Pacific is based in Fort Worth, Tex.; Bain Capital, headquartered in Boston, owns 95 percent of the Domino's Pizza chain. Goldman Sachs Capital Partners is the private equity arm of U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs.

``This ownership group is outstanding,'' Burger King CEO John Dasburg said Friday. ``They fully understand and support our strategy, our programs and our people.''

Attempts to reach officials from the buying the fast food chain were unsuccessful early Friday.

Diageo markets several of the world's most popular alcohol brands, including Johnnie Walker scotch, Guinness and Smirnoff vodka. Burger King's franchise owners have long supported leaving Diageo, citing thin profit margins and ineffective marketing by the company.
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