The parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons is negotiating a deal to purchase the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen fried chicken chain, Reuters reported this afternoon.
The suitor, Restaurant Brands International, has yet to settle on a price with Popeyes, a public company, Reuters said, quoting anonymous sources.
It attributed the exclusive story to “people familiar with the matter,” but provided no other clues.
The deal would raise RBI’s might in the fast-food business, creating a franchisor with nearly 23,000 restaurants across the globe.
Restaurant Brands International was formed by the merger of BK and Tim Hortons in late 2014, a deal valued at $12.5 billion. Almost from the start, RBI was reported to be open to buying other quick-service franchise businesses.
The acquisition of Popeyes would provide RBI with an established player in the quick-service chicken segment. Popeyes currently extends to more than 2,000 locations domestically; all but about 70 are franchised.
Internationally, however, the brand sports only about 600 locations. RBI was formed in part as a global company, and has cited international development as foundation of its growth strategy.
BK has 7,439 restaurants in the United States and Canada and about 8,300 elsewhere. Tim Hortons, a chain specializing in baked goods and coffee, has 4,400 units in North America and 129 overseas.