Doughnuts, hamburgers, and as of Tuesday … chicken. That's what's now on the menu for Restaurant Brands International, the owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons that just raided the fast-food henhouse to buy the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen chain for nearly $1.65 billion, per the Wall Street Journal. (CNNMoney and Bloomberg put the sale price closer to $1.8 billion.) The company's majority owner, Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital Partners LP, jumped onto this fast-food deal right after its failed attempts to form what the Journal calls a "global packaged goods juggernaut." The equity group had backed Kraft Heinz in its $143 billion offer to scoop up Unilever, but the deal fell through over the weekend, per the AP.
Part of the Popeyes game plan, which would stay in line with Restaurant Brands' past maneuvers, will be to expand the chicken chain into international markets, especially since "spicy flavors, chicken, and rice tend to travel well," a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst says. The acquisition should also help the company up its game against competitors Wendy's, McDonald's, and Yum Brands, which owns KFC. Restaurant Brands CEO Daniel Schwartz tells Bloomberg that Popeyes—which Fortune notes boasts nearly 2,700 stores worldwide, with most in the US—will keep its headquarters in Atlanta, and existing staff will stay intact for now. The deal is expected to close in April. (If this guy still works for Popeyes, it makes the deal extra sweet.)