April 04, 2012
Burger King to Go Public Via U.K. SPAC
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

Glom readers know I've been thinking about Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations (SPACs) for a while now.  Yesterday Justice Holdings Ltd. (listed on the London Stock Exchange), announced that it would take a 29% stake in Burger King, buying from private equity firm 3G Capital, Inc., which took the company private only 18 months ago. After the acquisition the company will trade as Burger King Worldwide Inc. on the NYSE.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Justice Holdings, a SPAC started by Nicolas Berggruen, Martin Franklin and Ackman, raised 900 million pounds ($1.4 billion) in a February 2011 initial public offering in London.

From the WSJ:

The decision to go public again was driven by building momentum at the restaurant chain, with the deal providing Burger King a chance to list itself without going through the time-consuming process of a traditional initial public offering, Burger King Chief Financial Officer Daniel Schwartz said Tuesday.

"This route allows management to focus on running the business," Mr. Schwartz said.

This probably the most high-profile SPAC acquisition ever, and certainly in the past few years.  While our work focuses on domestic SPACs, it's definitely an international phenomenon. 

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