Is Popeyes Getting Enough in the Buyout?

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Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. (NASDAQ: PLKI) saw its shares hit new highs on Tuesday after it was announced that the company would be bought out by Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR). The transaction is ultimately expected to close by early April 2017.

Under the terms of the agreement, RBI will acquire Popeyes for $79 per share in cash, or a total of $1.8 billion. RBI will finance the transaction with cash on hand and a financing commitment from JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.

The transaction price of $79 per share, represents a premium of 19.4% from Friday’s closing price of $66.12. The price also has a premium of 26% from the 50-day moving average of $62.71 and 37.8% from the 200-day moving average of $57.31.

Popeyes was founded in New Orleans in 1972. It has 45 years of history and culinary tradition and is the franchisor and operator of Popeyes restaurants. Currently Popeyes is one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurant chicken concepts, with over 2,600 restaurants in the United States and 25 other countries around the world. Its global footprint will complement RBI’s existing portfolio of over 20,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories.

RBI is one of the largest operators of fast food restaurants in the world, with its main holdings in Burger King and Tim Hortons. 3G Capital holds a 51% majority stake in RBI and Berkshire Hathaway holds close to a 5% stake.

Daniel Schwartz , CEO of RBI, commented:

Popeyes is a powerful brand with a rich Louisiana heritage that resonates with guests around the world. With this transaction, RBI is adding a brand that has a distinctive position within a compelling segment and strong U.S. and international prospects for growth. As Popeyes becomes part of the RBI family we believe we can deliver growth and opportunities for all of our stakeholders including our valued employees and franchisees. We look forward to taking an already very strong brand and accelerating its pace of growth and opening new restaurants in the U.S. and around the world.

Shares of Popeyes were last seen up 19% at $78.79 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $65.22 and a 52-week trading range of $49.11 to $78.85.

RBI shares were trading up 6.8% at $57.59, within a previous 52-week range of $31.58 to $56.32 and a consensus price target of $52.25.