NEW YORK — According to The Associated Press on Sept. 1, a private-equity firm denied it's in talks to acquire Burger King Holdings Inc. after a published report linked 3i Group PLC to the fast-food chain.

Burger King, the second-largest hamburger chain behind McDonald's Corp. became a publicly traded company in 2006, has 12,000 restaurants and already has connections to private-equity firms. Burger King was acquired by a group of firms in 2002. Those firms — TPG Capital, Bain Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs Funds — now own more than 30% of Burger King's outstanding shares.

Citing sources it did not name, the Wall Street Journal said talks regarding a possible Burger King sale have taken place over recent weeks. But the status of any talks is not known. Burger King shares rose $1.39, or 8.5%, to $17.84 in morning trading Wednesday.

Although the newspaper said the British private-equity firm was among the interested parties, a spokeswoman from that group told AP no such talks were under way between the two. "I am happy to confirm that we are not in discussions with Burger King," said spokeswoman Kathryn van der Kroft, adding that Burger King's size falls outside the firm's interests.