DIAGEO FINALLY SELLS BURGER KING

Drops Sale Price From $2.6 Billion to $1.5 Billion

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After months of posturing and wrangling, London-based Diageo PLC yesterday agreed to sell the Burger King fast-food chain to an investment consortium led by Texas Pacific Group for $1.5 billion.

That was $1.1 billion less than the original price the parties agreed to when they struck an initial deal in July. That arrangement fell apart after Burger King was unable to meet promised sales quotas. The chain has been locked in a vicious and costly price war with arch-rival McDonald's.

Franchisees applaud
The purchase agreement announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by Burger King franchisees, who have previously complained of being caught in limbo between a stalled sale and a floundering corporate management.

In a statement, the National Franchisee Association, whcih represents more than 90% of Burger King restaurant operators, said, "Today is the first day of a new era. ... It brings to fruition our goal of separating Burger King from Diageo [and enables] the franchisee community to focus entirely on the day-to-day running and growth of its business."

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