Tim Hortons is Canada's biggest restaurant brand, beating both McDonald's and Starbucks into second place in their respective sectors. Known to its customers as Tim's, it is widely regarded as a national icon. A 2007 survey by a local historical group found that 40% of Canadians under 35 consider the chain's Timbits bite-size mini-doughnuts to be a national symbol of Canada. The group has gradually expanded its food range beyond donuts and coffee, adding muffins, bagels, soups and sandwiches. In 2014, Tim Hortons agreed to be acquired by US rival Burger King for around $11bn. The deal completed at the end of 2014 with the creation of new parent group Restaurant Brands International.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Aug 2014: Burger King and leading Canadian quick serve chain Tim Hortons are to merge to create a substantial foodservice operation with combined systemwide sales of around $23bn. Burger King will acquire its Canadian rival for around $11.4bn and plans to transfer its fiscal base to Tim's home country of Canada. The deal requires regulatory approval ion Canada, but the move makes sense, even without the tax benefits of inversion. Despite Burger King's wider global footprint, Tim's is actually the bigger by far of the two businesses, with revenues of around $3bn in 2013 to Burger King's $1.1bn. (Burger King's lower revenues are the result of the fact that almost all its 13,000-plus outlets are now owned and operated by franchisees). Though little-known outside North America, Tim Hortons is Canada's biggest quick serve chain by a considerable margin, well ahead of better-known US rivals McDonald's and Subway. Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz told the media "Our phones are already ringing off the hook to take this great brand [Hortons] around the world." According to some reports, Burger King envisions turning itself into a multi-chain conglomerate along similar lines to Yum Brands, owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. That plan has the backing of billionaire investor Warren Buffett who is said to be supplying around $3bn of cash to finance the deal in return for preference shares. Burger King's current controlling shareholder, private equity firm 3G Capital, will retain a majority stake in the merged group of 51% compared to its current 70%. Investors generally welcomed the announcement, causing an immediate 20% jump in both groups' share prices.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st May 2014: Peter Nowlan, currently chief commercial officer of brewer Molson Coors is moving to local restaurant icon Tim Hortons, to replace long-serving CMO Bill Moir, who will retire this summer. Scott Cooper succeeds Nowlan at Molson Coors.
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