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Burger King to float

03 February 2006

Hamburger chain Burger King is planning a swift return to public ownership in the wake of improved trading results.

The US corporation, which owns or franchises more than 11,000 restaurants around the world, will file for a stock market listing either this month or in early March.

The group is currently owned by a consortium of venture capitalists including Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Private Equity group.

They bought Burger King from drinks giant Diageo for a knockdown $1.5b (£850m) in 2002, nearly two-and-a-half years after it was put on the market. The deal brought the fast-food chain into private ownership for the first time in 35 years.

"Our goal has always been to take Burger King public," said chairman and chief executive Greg Brenneman, who came on board in 2004 to revive the group's flagging sales.

"We believe the transparency and stability in ownership offered by being a public company will benefit our employees and franchisees for years to come."

The news follows the announcement earlier this month that Burger King had achieved its seventh consecutive quarterly rise in comparable US sales for the first time in nearly a decade.

By Angela Frewin

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