MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Burger King Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:BKW), today announced that it has entered into a multi-country, Master Franchise Joint Venture Agreement with BEBOCA LTD in Central America. This multi-country joint venture is a first of its kind for the BURGER KING® brand worldwide.
Under the terms of the agreement, BKW and BEBOCA LTD, a long-standing BURGER KING® franchisee, which currently owns and operates 48 restaurants in Costa Rica and Panama, will establish a new entity named BK Centro America. The new joint venture will acquire the master franchise rights for the 178 restaurants in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and has committed to manage the aggressive development of the BURGER KING® brand in these countries. The company will provide operations, supply chain, procurement and marketing for franchisees in Central America and will have new development exclusivity in these markets.
“Central America’s middle class continues to expand rapidly and this partnership will enhance our ability to grow aggressively and ensure we are the preferred choice among consumers in the region,” said Jose Tomas, president, Latin America and the Caribbean, Burger King Worldwide, Inc.
Rafael Belloso, president and CEO of BK Centro America said, “I am thrilled to be part of this exciting new venture with Burger King Worldwide, Inc., and I am confident these markets offer great potential for aggressive growth. The new company will expand the region by focusing on delivering exceptional guest service and great-tasting food.”
Jose Tomas, president, Latin America and the Caribbean and Jonathan Weisleder, finance and business development director, Latin America and the Caribbean, will join the Board of Directors of BK Centro America. In 2012, BKW successfully introduced joint ventures in South Africa, Russia and China and in 2011, in Brazil – all focused on increasing market share in key markets across the world.
This press release includes forward-looking statements, which are often identified by the words “may,” “might,” “believes,” “thinks,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects”, “intends” or similar expressions, and includes statements regarding BKW’s expectations regarding the growth opportunities in Central America and the ability of the joint venture to capitalize on these opportunities and rapidly expand the BURGER KING® brand’s presence in Central America. These forward-looking statements may be affected by risks and uncertainties in BKW’s business and market conditions. This information is qualified in its entirety by cautionary statements and risk factor disclosure contained in filings made by BKW with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including BKW’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 18, 2012. BKW wishes to caution readers that certain important factors may have affected and could in the future affect BKW’s actual results and could cause BKW’s actual results for subsequent periods to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement made by or on behalf of BKW, including the risk that the joint venture will not close, that the joint venture will not be successful in opening and operating BURGER KING® restaurants in Central America or that the opportunities to open restaurants in Central America will decline. BKW undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
ABOUT BURGER KING WORLDWIDE
Founded in 1954, BURGER KING® (NYSE: BKW) is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. The original HOME OF THE WHOPPER®, the BURGER KING® system operates in over 12,600 locations serving over 11 million guests daily in 83 countries and territories worldwide. Approximately 95 percent of BURGER KING® restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. To learn more about Burger King Worldwide, please visit the company's website at www.bk.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.