International private equity firm, Cinven, and Restaurant Brands Iberia (‘RB Iberia’ or ‘the company’), today announce an agreement for Cinven to acquire a majority stake in RB Iberia. RB Iberia’s founders and Burger King Europe GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc., will continue to be minority shareholders of the company, and the incumbent executive management team will continue to lead the growth of the brands. Valued at more than €1bn, the investment represents the largest transaction in the Spanish restaurant industry to date.
RB Iberia is a leading Quick Service Restaurant (‘QSR’) platform in Iberia and the master franchisee for the Burger King brand in Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra, and for the Popeyes and Tim Hortons brands in Spain. The company has a large presence across Spain, including in key locations such as Madrid, Valencia, Catalonia, and Andalusia, with a portfolio of more than 500 of its own restaurants, and an additional c. 500 franchised restaurants across the three brands. The business was founded in 1981 and, under the leadership of founder Gregorio Jiménez, has grown significantly in the last five years both organically and through acquisitions, more than tripling the number of owned Burger King restaurants. The company performed resiliently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing to acquire and open restaurants, as well as continuing the roll-out of its successful home delivery service, with more than 5,000 delivery staff and c. 14,000 employees in total.
Cinven’s Iberia and Consumer teams identified RB Iberia as an attractive investment opportunity given:
- Its market-leading position in the region, through its roster of strong brands with high brand awareness and a differentiated value proposition;
- The propensity for out-of-home consumption in Spain, complemented by favourable long-term market dynamics such as the acceleration of Direct to Consumer (‘D2C’) digital engagement through apps and home delivery;
- The substantial opportunity in the growing and resilient Spanish QSR market, which is underpenetrated in comparison to similar European markets and offers the potential for further restaurant openings across the Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons brands;
- Its resilience shown through the COVID-19 pandemic, and potential for a significant return of consumer spend;
- Its industry-leading ESG credentials, including in key areas such as supply chain traceability and a commitment to renewable energy, with significant opportunity for further ESG improvements;
- Its proven innovation leadership, adapting to new consumer habits such as its introduction of plant-based meat products; and
- Its strong and experienced management team, led by the highly regarded founder and CEO, Gregorio Jiménez.
Jorge Quemada, Partner at Cinven, commented:
“RB Iberia has been incredibly successful under the leadership of founder, Gregorio Jiménez, and is regarded as one of Restaurant Brands International’s best performing businesses. The company has a strong strategic position in the attractive and growing QSR market in Iberia and we are excited by the prospect of partnering with this ambitious and experienced team to accelerate growth. This is a compelling primary investment opportunity that leverages Cinven’s one-team approach, encompassing a matrix of sector and local expertise through Cinven’s strong presence in Iberia and Consumer team sector knowledge.”
Maxim Crewe, Partner at Cinven, added:
“RB Iberia is an excellent fit with Cinven’s consumer strategy which is focused on megatrends such as demand for out-of-home consumption and digital D2C engagement through apps and home delivery. The company has a clearly differentiated value proposition and strong brand awareness, both of which are key criteria for success in the QSR market, and Cinven is well-positioned to support the business with its next stage of growth in the sector.”
Gregorio Jiménez, founder and CEO at RB Iberia, added:
“Cinven’s investment represents an important catalyst to the company’s growth plan over the coming years. In addition, it provides a significant financial boost, which will contribute to the development of the ambitious growth plans for our brands in Spain and Portugal and guarantees the continuity of the group's growth rate to position itself as a leader in the sector in southern Europe. Our goal is to continue to lead an innovative, sustainable restaurant model underpinned by the close vicinity of restaurants to customers, and to continue to generate employment in the communities where our brands are present.”
This transaction follows Cinven’s recent investments in the Consumer sector including Arcaplanet, a leading pet care platform in Italy, and the combination with Maxi Zoo Italia; Partner in Pet Food, a market-leading pet food manufacturer; Planasa, a global operator in the agri-food sector; and the successful IPO of consumer-tech platform Allegro.
The transaction is subject to customary anti-trust and regulatory approvals.