UK: Burger King May Become Independent
The London-based parent company of Burger King said Thursday it plans to offer 20 percent of the company to the public by issuing shares through the New York Stock Exchange.The move should be appealing to employees, who "could eventually be owners of Burger King and participate in the stock," said Burger King spokesman Rob Doughty.No timetable for the sale was announced.Also on Thursday, Burger King's chief executive, Dennis Malamatinas, said he would resign on Aug. 30. Malamatinas said he wants to spend more time with his family.Burger King's parent company, Diageo PLC, said Malamatinas, 45, who has been CEO of the Miami-based food chain for four years, supported the idea of a partial stock flotation. Malamatinas was discussing the plan with franchisees during a meeting in Miami on Thursday.Until a permanent replacement is appointed, Colin Storm, CEO of Diageo's Guinness PLC business, will be in charge of Burger King.Doughty said Malamatinas will soon be running "the European business of a major U.S. company." He did not disclose the name of the company, but he said an announcement would be made within two weeks.A Burger King spokesman said partial flotations usually signal a sale of up to 20 percent of the company's stock.Burger King Corp. was formerly owned by Grand Metropolitan PLC, which merged with Guinness PLC in 1997 to form Diageo.Grand Met acquired Burger King as part of its purchase of Pillsbury Co. in January 1989.Burger King is the second biggest fast-food restaurant operator in the United States with about 8,500 outlets. It has more than 12,000 restaurants worldwide.Diageo's U.S. shares finished the day at $35.438, down 56.2 cents, or 1.6 percent on the NYSE on Thursday. On the Net: Diageo PLC site:
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