Burger King Takes on McDonald's in France With Quick Purchase

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A man walks past a Quick fast food restaurant in Paris on Sept. 28, 2015.

Photographer: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images
  • Deal will make fast-food chain No. 2 in local market
  • Purchase adds 509 restaurants in France, Belgium, Luxembourg

Burger King is to transform its business in France with a deal that will make it the country’s second-biggest fast-food chain behind McDonald’s Corp.

The Whopper maker’s local franchisee will acquire Quick Group, the Belgian-based restaurant company, from its private-equity owner for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement released on Monday.

The purchase will add 509 restaurants in France, Belgium and Luxembourg to Burger King’s 26 French outlets. That will still leave it a long way behind McDonald’s, which has more than 1,200 restaurants in France. All Quick outlets are set to be converted to the Burger King brand.

The transaction represents a major step for Burger King, which returned to France in December 2012 after a 15-year absence. During that time, McDonald’s captured almost half of the local market. The French fast-food industry will grow to 10.5 billion euros ($11.7 billion) by 2016, Euromonitor predicts. Miami-based Burger King is a division of the Warren Buffett-backed Restaurant Brands International Inc.

Quick, which had system-wide sales of 1 billion euros last year, is being acquired from Qualium Investissement. Burger King France is majority-owned by Groupe Bertrand, a family-owned restaurant business based in Paris.

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