Burger King Stock
Burger King is, of course, one of the best known names in the mall or shopping zone. The signs (as well as the Whopper itself) are recognized universally and usually with positive reactions. Burger King was founded in Miami in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton, the Whopper, an immediate success, launching in 1957. Today the group operates over eleven thousand restaurants in sixty countries providing employment for over three hundred thousand people. Some ninety percent of the outlets are franchises, operated by individuals or independent family businesses that have been with the company for many years, through its peaks and troughs. The brand has been through many hands over the years through connections with Pillsbury and, in fact, included a period of British ownership when the Grand Metropolitan Hotels conglomerate held Pillsbury. Burger King Holdings Inc., the parent company, is today, private and independently owned by an equity sponsor group comprised of Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Any investor then who wants to have an interest in Burger King has to do so by holding stock in one of the equity partners in Burger King Holdings Inc. Bain Capital is not listed on the New York Stock Exchange which limits the choice to the two others, both of which are major financial institutions. The most obvious choice would be Texas Pacific Group although it wouldn't be entirely true to say that this investment house's record was one of predictability. This may be due to it's policy of taking on apparently hopeless causes over the years - often when it's done that, investors have deserted it only to regret that decision when the business has been turned around. Texas Pacific tends to take an active interest in its acquisitions - it's most high profile take-over probably being Continental Airlines with the subsequent merger into that of Southwest Airlines and People Express. It was, of course, a similar circumstance when they bought the largest tranche of Pillsbury from Grand Met before demerging Burger King from that. However, since the second quarter of 2002, the stock has generally been in growth and the current price is slightly under $180. Goldman Sachs is one of the best known and respected finance houses around the financial world not only on Wall Street. Its portfolio contains stock in some of the soundest and most profitable enterprises on the planet. This house can claim more or less continuous growth and stability for its stock. The price range over the year has been between just over $83 and $114. On that basis, the current price of around $109 looks good value. These two equity houses have different approaches to their holdings - Texas Pacific getting heavily involved, Goldman Sachs standing at arm length. Either are likely to prove sound long term investments offering good prospects for growth with reliable dividend income - however, don't expect either to send out free whopper vouchers with the share certificates.