Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI), Canada, announced plans to acquire Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., Atlanta, for $1.8 billion.

The acquisition of Popeyes will add a highly-regarded brand with strong customer loyalty to RBI, owner of BURGER KING and TIM HORTONS.

Founded in New Orleans in 1972, Popeyes maintains 45 years of history and culinary tradition, and is the franchisor and operator of Popeyes restaurants. Today, Popeyes operates over 2,600 restaurants in the United States and 25 other countries around the world, and its global footprint will complement RBI's existing portfolio of over 20,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories.

Following the closing of the transaction, Popeyes will continue to be managed independently in the United States, while benefitting from the global scale and resources of RBI. Building on the momentum of recent years, RBI plans to continue developing the brand at an increasing pace in the United States and international markets in the years to come.

"Popeyes is a powerful brand with a rich Louisiana heritage that resonates with guests around the world,” says Daniel Schwartz, chief executive officer of RBI. “With this transaction, RBI is adding a brand that has a distinctive position within a compelling segment and strong U.S. and international prospects for growth. As Popeyes becomes part of the RBI family, we believe we can deliver growth and opportunities for all of our stakeholders, including our valued employees and franchisees. We look forward to taking an already very strong brand and accelerating its pace of growth and opening new restaurants in the U.S. and around the world."

"I am proud of the superior results the Popeyes team has delivered in recent years; they have served all stakeholders well,” adds Cheryl Bachelder, chief executive officer of Popeyes. “As Popeyes enters its 45th year, its success reflects the amazing brand entrusted to us by founder Al Copeland, Sr., and the unique high trust partnership that we enjoy with our franchise owners. RBI has observed our success and seen the opportunity for exceptional future unit growth in the U.S. and around the world. The result is a transaction that delivers immediate and certain value to the Popeyes shareholders."