Antitrust watchdog clears Tim Hortons takeover

(Dave Bedard photo)

Canada’s Competition Bureau has no plans to block Timmy’s entry to the Burger King’s kingdom.

The bureau said Tuesday it has issued a “no action” letter confirming it won’t, at this time, challenge the US$15.5 billion merger of Tim Hortons into Burger King as proposed in August.

The deal is “unlikely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition” in the fast food sector, the bureau said — due in part to the “large number of competitors and the low barriers to entry” in the sector.

Burger King Worldwide and Tim Hortons in August announced a cash-and/or-stock deal that would form a Canadian-headquartered operation with over 18,000 restaurants in about 100 countries and US$22.7 billion in combined system-wide sales.

Rio de Janeiro-based 3G, which owns about 70 per cent of Burger King, would have 51 per cent control of the new company while other Burger King and Tim Hortons shareholders would own 27 and 22 per cent respectively.

The deal is expected to close later this year or in early 2015, but still requires approvals from Tim Hortons shareholders and from the Canadian government as per the Investment Canada Act. — Network

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