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Whataburger hires Morgan Stanley to explore possible sale


Whataburger has hired multinational investment bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley to help explore a possible sale, the company confirmed May 16.

In a written statement, Whataburger's corporate communications team said: “Our company is growing and is always attractive to investors, and we’ve brought in Morgan Stanley to help us explore our options. We have always evaluated the opportunities that can accelerate growth and maintain the success of our brand, and we will continue to do so in the future.”

Word of a possible sale was reported May 6 by Reuters, which cited anonymous sources. Those sources told Reuters that the San Antonio-based fast food chain was considering a sale, including a minority stake sale to a financial investor or private equity firm.

One of the sources told Reuters that the chain could garner a valuation of more than $6 billion.

Trade publication QSR reported that Whataburger had sales of more than $2.2 billion in 2017, ranking it 22nd in the magazine's 50 largest limited-service restaurants based on sales, above such prominent burger chains as Hardee's, Carl's Jr. and Five Guys. The company operates 827 locations across 10 states, according to its website, a majority of which are in Texas. The chain has dozens of locations in the greater Houston area.

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