Everstone delivers Burger King to India

The private equity firm will soon roll out the hamburger joint's first locations in the country.

Everstone Capital Partners has secured a joint venture with Burger King Worldwide, the US fast-food hamburger chain, to establish and develop the Burger King presence in India, according to a statement from the firms.

There is no set dollar amount for the investment, but as the business opens new stores it will draw down capital of up to $100 million in total if the investment requires it, according to the firm. Everstone is also likely to bring in co-investors on the deal, although specifics have not yet been decided.

Currently, Burger King does not exist in India, and under the partnership agreement Everstone has all master franchise, development and sub-franchise rights.

Over the next few months, the firms will work together to establish a supply chain and execute a roll-out plan to open the company’s first India-based restaurants.

Although India has a large vegetarian population, Burger King plans to tailor-make its menu to suit Indian tastes, Sameer Sain, co-founder and managing partner of Everstone, told Private Equity International.  

“The fact that it is a burger and the construct of a sandwich burger doesn’t change. The ingredients [will] change to suit the local population and local taste so we will be selling lots of burgers and some other stuff as well, but the ingredients will change to suit the Indian palate,” he explained.

For example, meat burgers are likely to be made out of more lean proteins such as chicken and fish, or vegetarian options such as the bean burger, which is popular in other markets.

Burger King Worldwide is currently owned by Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital, which acquired Heinz in February this year alongside Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. In October, Burger King rival McDonald’s revealed it would stop selling Heinz ketchup in its stores after 40 years, media reports said earlier.

Following this deal, Everstone’s $580 million Fund II will be about 65 percent deployed, Sain told PEI. The firm is planning to raise a new fund sometime in 2014.

The firm also added a new operating partner in October, Carl Harris, who will be a managing director based in Singapore, according to the firm. Harris has over 16 years of private equity experience and has previously worked at Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company.