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IN BRIEF/RESTAURANTS

Buyout Firms May Acquire Burger King

March 19, 2002|Bloomberg News

Diageo, the biggest distiller, has been approached by buyout firms Bain Capital Inc., Blackstone Group and Texas Pacific Group about a possible purchase of the company's Burger King unit, according to people familiar with the situation.

London-based Diageo has said it plans to divest itself of the second-largest hamburger chain through a share sale or buyout after unloading its Pillsbury food unit last year to focus on drinks such as Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer.

Management also may participate in a buyout, which may fetch as much as $2.1billion, analysts said.

Spokesmen for Bain, Blackstone and Texas Pacific Group declined to comment. Diageo executives didn't return calls seeking comment.

Separately, Diageo said it sold its Glen Ellen wine business to Franzia Winery of Ripton, Calif., for an undisclosed sum. The transaction includes the Glen Ellen and MG Vallejo brands, global trademark rights and all Glen Ellen inventory but does not include vineyards.

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