Private equity firm Bridgepoint has become the UK master franchisee of Burger King after acquiring Caspian UK Group, one of the UK’s largest Burger King franchisees with 74 restaurants.
The transaction will see the establishment of a new Burger King UK entity, which will be controlled by Bridgepoint with Burger King Europe retaining a minority stake.
Following an agreement with Burger King Europe, the new entity will enter into a 20-year master franchise agreement making it the custodian of the Burger King brand in the UK and giving it the right to open new stores across the country.
The Burger King brand was founded in 1954 and is now the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, after McDonalds. It currently has over 500 restaurants in the UK.
As part of the deal, Bridgepoint is supporting a management buy-in team headed by chair-designate Martin Robinson, who was former chair of Center Parcs and Wagamama and is currently chair of Casual Dining Group. The new team will lead the company's management of the UK territory as well as the roll-out of further stores across the country.
José Cil, President of the Burger King brand 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."
A spokesperson for Bridgepoint added: "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."