Burger King chairman and CEO John Dasburg stands to gain a bonus in excess of US$20m if he manages to secure a high price for the US fastfood chain currently owned by Diageo, the UK beer and spirits conglomerate.

If the new owners of the company, which is to be sold or floated so that Diageo can focus purely on its core drinks businesses, recruit Dasburg to stay in charge of Burger King, he could net a second windfall. The group is expected to decide whether to float or sell by November, reports the Financial Times newspaper.

Dasburg was recruited in February specifically to mastermind the separation of Burger King from Diageo. If he receives a windfall of the amount suggested, this could spark controversy, not least because Burger King remains one of many foodservice operators that oppose a Senate plan to hike the US minimum wage by US$6.65 per hour. Burger King joins fellow restaurant groups in claiming the proposal threatens jobs.

At present no clear favourite has emerged as a potential buyer of Burger King. Names in the port are mostly from the private equity arena, and include Texas Pacific, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital.

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