• Burger King sale makes Domino's a corporate cousin

LONDON -- The Associated Press has reported that Diageo PLC has agreed to sell Burger King Corp. for $2.26 billion in cash.

The buyer is a consortium of U.S. venture capital firms led by Texas Pacific Group and includes Boston-based Bain Capital, which owns Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino's Pizza. Goldman Sachs is the third firm in the consortium.

Once completed, the sale will allow Diageo to focus solely on its alcoholic beverage business. The company's best-known brands include Johnnie Walker scotch, Guinness beers and Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur.

Sources close to the story believe Texas Pacific officials' close ties with senior executives at Burger King, plus Bain's fast-food experience through Domino's gave the group an advantage over other bidders.

Second only to McDonald's, Burger King has more than 11,435 restaurants worldwide.

According to the AP, Burger King's franchisees have long wanted to split from Diaego. More than a year ago, BK chief executive John Dasburg stated that officials at the fast-food chain had talked with a leveraged buyout firm, but no deal was ever announced.

In a release from Burger King, Dasburg said he and the company's executive team fully support the selection of the buying consortium.

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