Restaurant Brands International plans to acquire Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for $1.8 billion.

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Restaurant Brands International Inc., parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons, announced plans to acquire Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. for $79 per share in cash, or $1.8 billion.

Founded in New Orleans in 1972, Popeyes is one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurant chicken concepts, with more than 2,600 restaurants in the United States and 25 other countries. The acquisition will complement Restaurant Brands’ portfolio of more than 20,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and US territories.

Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands

“Popeyes is a powerful brand with a rich Louisiana heritage that resonates with guests around the world,” said Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands International. “With this transaction, RBI is adding a brand that has a distinctive position within a compelling segment and strong US and international prospects for growth. As Popeyes becomes part of the RBI family we believe we can deliver growth and opportunities for all of our stakeholders, including our valued employees and franchisees. We look forward to taking an already very strong brand and accelerating its pace of growth and opening new restaurants in the US and around the world.”

The financial terms of the transaction represent a premium of 27 percent based on Popeyes’ 30-trading day Volume Weighted Average Price as of Feb. 10, the last trading day before media speculation of a potential sale began. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by early April 2017.

“I am proud of the superior results the Popeyes team has delivered in recent years; they have served all stakeholders well,” said Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes. “As Popeyes enters its 45th year, its success reflects the amazing brand entrusted to us by founder Al Copeland, Sr. and the unique high trust partnership that we enjoy with our franchise owners. RBI has observed our success and seen the opportunity for exceptional future unit growth in the US and around the world. The result is a transaction that delivers immediate and certain value to the Popeyes shareholders.”

With more than $24 billion in system sales, Restaurant Brands International was established in late 2014, after Burger King Worldwide agreed to pay $11 billion to buy Tim Hortons, a Canadian chain known for its coffee and donuts. In the recent fiscal year, the company delivered strong profitability growth and accelerated the pace of restaurant development at both chains. Net income at Restaurant Brands in the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, was $345.6 million, equal to $1.48 per share on the common stock, up sharply from $103.9 million, or $0.51 per share, in the previous fiscal year. Revenues totaled $4,145.8 million, up from $4,052.2 million.