Burger King & Texas Pacific Discuss Potential Leveraged Buyout

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Miami-Burger King Co. has held talks with Texas Pacific Group, a large investment concern, for a possible leveraged buyout of the nation's second-largest fast-food chain, according to John Dasburg, Burger King's newly appointed president.

Dasburg offered few details, except to say that he has spoken with the Fort Worth, Texas, firm and that any such deal would occur next year. In an interview, he said he is also evaluating other strategic alternatives for the hamburger chain, including a previously announced plan for an initial public offering of 20 percent of the company. He said that offering could take place in the first or second quarter of 2002.

Diageo PLC, parent of Burger King, has "agreed to a separation and the form of separation must be determined," Dasburg said. He added that he plans to issue his recommendation to Diageo and Burger King's franchisees after studying all the options.

Owen Blicksilver, a spokesman for Texas Pacific Group, which has $10 billion in assets under management, said he has no comment on a possible leveraged buyout, which was reported in the Miami Herald. -The Wall Street Journal

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