Burger King Rumors Lead to Speculation, Jokes

Potentially Interesting Marketing Angles if Bought by 3G

By Published on .

Good thing Bill Clinton gave up chowing down on Big Macs.

It appears 3G Capital Management--the firm where daughter Chelsea Clinton's new hubby Marc Mezvinsky works as an investment banker--is trying to scoop up McDonald's rival, Burger King, and take it private. After the Wall Street Journal initially reported Burger King was in talks with London-based private equity firm 3i, which publicly denied the claim, reports surfaced today in Bloomberg, The New York Times, and an update by the Journal all citing 3G Capital as the company pursuing a Burger King buyout.

The Mezvinksy connection to the deal is now prompting jokes about Mr. Clinton having to switch to the Whopper and invoking memories of the famous Saturday Night Live sketch where Phil Hartman impersonates Mr. Clinton--stopping off in the middle of a jog to "McLean" sandwiches and Egg McMuffins with barbecue sauce off of customers trays. At the end of the skit, he challenges his secret service agents to race him to closest Pizza Hut.

Funnily, Pizza Hut was the only major brand that tried to use the Clinton-Mezvinksy nuptials as a way to goose its brand.

Were a deal to go through, Burger King would find itself aligned with some pretty high-profile folks. In addition to its association with Mezvinksy, 3G has investment from professional hockey players Bryce Salvador and Jamal Meyers of the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively.

Another well-known name said to have ties to 3G is Brazilian beer magnate Jorge Paulo Lemann who was central to the merger that created ABInBev. Maybe he could spur Burger King's plans to serve alcohol domestically at its new Whopper Bar concept? The South Beach location is serving booze but an informal Ad Age survey of the Times Square location last week came up dry.

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