Burger King Holdings planning to open 1,000 restaurants in China over next five-to-seven years, forms JV for largest multi-unit development agreement in brand's history

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Jun 15, 2012 – Business Wire

MIAMI , June 15, 2012 (press release) – -Burger King Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (“BKW”) today announced the establishment of a new joint venture in China focused on aggressively expanding the BURGER KING® brand’s presence in this high-growth market. BKW has entered into an agreement with members of the Kurdoglu family, a long-time BURGER KING® master franchisee and Cartesian Capital Group, a global private equity firm. This new joint venture is planning to open one-thousand BK® restaurants in China over the next five to seven years. This deal represents the largest multi-unit development agreement in the brand’s history and will make the Kurdoglu family the system’s largest franchisee, globally.

“We have partnered with solid investors and experienced restaurant operators to accelerate our net restaurant growth in China, while introducing our signature great-tasting, fire-grilled menu items to millions of consumers in the country.”

“Expanding our brand’s presence in China further exemplifies our company’s commitment to strengthening our global restaurant portfolio and establishing a strong brand presence in key growth markets around the world,” said Elias Diaz Sese, president, BK® Asia Pacific. “We have partnered with solid investors and experienced restaurant operators to accelerate our net restaurant growth in China, while introducing our signature great-tasting, fire-grilled menu items to millions of consumers in the country.”

By capitalizing on the Kurdoglu family’s strong operational experience and leveraging Cartesian Capital Group’s significant financial resources, this new joint venture in China positions the BURGER KING® brand for rapid expansion in the country. The Kurdoglu family, which was advised by Ata Invest, Istanbul, operates TAB Gida, currently the BK® system’s largest franchisee internationally. Under their operational leadership, they have grown the BURGER KING® brand in Turkey from just one restaurant to more than 450.

“We are very excited to expand our relationship with BURGER KING® and further establish the brand’s presence in such an exciting, active market with a vibrant economy and substantial growth potential,” said Erhan Kurdoglu, chairman of the new venture.

“BURGER KING® is a world-renowned brand with tremendous growth potential, especially in China. We are proud to be part of this joint venture and to expand our partnership with the Kurdoglu family. Our shared commitment to high-quality food, world-class service, and solid operations will propel our growth in the country,” said Peter Yu, Managing Partner of Cartesian Capital Group.

Under the terms of the partnership, the new venture has signed a long-term master franchise and development agreement with BKW and has obtained the exclusive rights to expand the BURGER KING® brand in China, where there are currently 63 BURGER KING® restaurants.

BKW’s expansion plans in China are aligned with the company’s long-term global growth strategy. Earlier this month, BKW announced a joint venture in Russia to rapidly expand the brand’s presence in the market with several hundred BK® restaurants expected to open in the next several years. Last July, BKW also announced a similar venture in Brazil to add several hundred restaurants in South America’s fastest-growing economy.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements, which are often identified by the words “may,” “might,” “believes,” “thinks,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects”, “intends” or similar expressions, and include statements regarding BKW’s expectations regarding the growth opportunities in China and the ability of the joint venture to capitalize on these opportunities and rapidly expand the BURGER KING® brand’s presence in China. These forward-looking statements may be affected by risks and uncertainties in BKW’s business and market conditions. This information is qualified in its entirety by cautionary statements and risk factor disclosure contained in filings made by Burger King Holdings, Inc. (“Holdings”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Holdings’ report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011. BKW wishes to caution readers that certain important factors may have affected and could in the future affect BKW’s actual results and could cause BKW’s actual results for subsequent periods to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement made by or on behalf of BKW, including the risk that the joint venture will not be successful in opening BURGER KING® restaurants in China or that the opportunities to open restaurants in China will decline. BKW undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.


Founded in 1954, BURGER KING® is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. The original HOME OF THE WHOPPER®, the BURGER KING® system operates in over 12,500 locations serving over 11 million guests daily in 82 countries and territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of BURGER KING® restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. Burger King Corp. is privately-held by 3G Capital, a multi-billion dollar, global investment firm focused on long-term value creation. For more information on 3G Capital, please go to http://3g-capital.com. To learn more about Burger King Corp., please visit the company's website at www.bk.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


As the largest BURGER KING® franchisee internationally and an affiliate of ATA Group, TAB Gida Industry and Trade Co. is the master franchisee for BURGER KING®, Sbarro®, Popeyes® and Arby’s® in Turkey. The first BURGER KING® restaurant opened in Turkey in 1995 and Popeyes® and Sbarro® started their operations in 2007 under TAB Gida. TAB Gida acquired the rights to Arby’s® in 2010.

Today, there are 451 BURGER KING® restaurants in Turkey. TAB Gida Industry and Trade Co. also operates 91 Sbarro®, 85 Popeyes® and 31 Arby’s® restaurants in Turkey. Managing a total of 658 restaurants in Turkey, it is one of the largest chains between Germany and India, TAB Gida Industry and Trade Co. has become one of the leading companies in the restaurant industry in Turkey. For more information, please see www.tabgida.com.tr.


Cartesian Capital Group is a global private equity firm focused on the world’s emerging markets. With more than $2 billion in commitments under management, Cartesian specializes in helping closely-held companies expand transnationally. The principals of Cartesian have invested in more than 75 companies in over 24 countries across a wide range of sectors and situations. For more information, please see www.cartesiangroup.com.

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