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Travers Smith advises Bridgepoint on its acquisition of the master franchise of Burger King® in the UK


Travers Smith LLP has advised long-standing client Bridgepoint on its agreement with Burger King Europe GmbH (BKE), an affiliate of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI), to become the UK master franchisee of BURGER KING®, with exclusive rights to the brand in the UK. Bridgepoint will simultaneously acquire the Caspian UK Group, one of the UK’s largest BURGER KING® franchisees with 74 restaurants.

The transaction with BKE will see the establishment of a new BURGER KING® UK entity which will be controlled by Bridgepoint with BKE retaining a minority stake. The new entity will enter into a 20 year master franchise agreement, giving it the right to be the custodian of the BURGER KING® brand in the UK, control over the brand’s proposition in the UK and the right to roll-out new stores across the country.

President of the BURGER KING® brand, José Cil, said: “We are thrilled to announce this agreement to increase the pace of growth for the BURGER KING® brand in the UK, one of the world’s largest quick service restaurant markets. The Bridgepoint team has extensive experience in the UK market and a strong track record investing in and developing leading brands in the quick service restaurant industry, which positions them well for success.

Bridgepoint commented: “BURGER KING® is a pre-eminent global consumer brand with a robust and growing presence in the UK market, well-liked by consumers. This is an opportunity to work with a highly regarded management buy-in team to re-invigorate a much-loved brand and to grow the existing UK business.

Founded in 1954, the BURGER KING® brand is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. In the UK there are currently over 500 restaurants.

The Travers Smith team was led by Private Equity Partner Ian Shawyer, Private Equity Senior Associates Ian Keefe and Gemma Phillips and Private Equity Associates Tom Hartwright and Tom Lloyd. Commercial, IP and Technology Senior Associate James Longster led on the franchising and commercial contracts aspects of the transaction. The Travers Smith team also included Head of Tax Simon Skinner and Tax Associate Angela Tang.

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