Burger King plans expansion of Tim Hortons
A Burger King sign and a Tim Hortons sign are displayed on St. Laurent Boulevard in Ottawa, Canada, on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Canada's iconic coffee chain, Tim Hortons, and Miami-based Burger King say they will join forces, but will operate as independent brands to form the world's third-largest quick service restaurant company. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)
The fight for the coffee and breakfast crowd is heating up, both at home and abroad.
Burger King said yesterday it will buy Tim Hortons in an $11 billion deal that would create the world’s third largest fast-food chain. The company is hoping to turn the coffee-and-doughnut chain into a household name outside Canada, and give itself a stronger foothold in the booming morning business.
Alex Behring, Burger King’s executive chairman, said the new company would be one of the fastest-growing fast-food chains in the world. The corporate headquarters will be in Canada, but Burger King will still be operated out of Miami.
The international ambitions for Tim Hortons echo the strategy Burger King’s owner, 3G Capital, has applied to Burger King since buying the hamburger chain in 2010. Given Burger King’s struggles in the U.S., the investment firm has focused on opening more locations in other countries.
Last year, for example, 3G accelerated expansion and opened 670 Burger King locations. Burger King now has nearly 14,000 locations globally, but the company has noted that’s still far less than the more than 35,000 McDonald’s restaurants around the world.
In the U.S., Tim Hortons could also give Burger King another way to tap into the coffee and breakfast markets, which have been dominated by players including McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.