Texas-based fast-meals chain Whataburger is now the belongings of a Chicago investment firm.
BDT Capital Partners has agreed to collect a majority stake in San Antonio-primarily based Whataburger; the agencies introduced Friday.
The financial terms of the deal were not released.
Whataburger will stay based in San Antonio, and the businesses will “start exploring growth plans,” in step with a statement.
Whataburger’s founders, the Dobson family, will preserve a minority ownership position within the enterprise. President and CEO Preston Atkinson and board chairman Tom Dobson will hold their seats on the board. However, they will retire from daily operations.
Tom Dobson said that the choice to promote the organization “is each thrilling and bittersweet” for the own family.
“Whataburger has been the heart and soul of our family legacy for almost 70 years, but we sense surely accurate approximately the partnership with BDT,” he stated. “They have a music report of achievement with corporations as special as ours that want to grow while preserving subculture and own family history. They rely on advisors and companions who have labored intently with a different circle of relatives organizations and that they have an exquisite recognition for doing the good factor.”
Ed Nelson, Whataburger’s leader economic officer, and the controller, will become the corporation’s president. Several other business enterprise executives are also being promoted.
Whataburger was founded by using entrepreneur Harmon Dobson in 1950. According to the organization’s website, Dobson had one aim in thoughts: “to serve a burger so massive that it took hands to maintain, and so properly that after unmarried chunk customers couldn’t help but exclaim, ‘What a burger!’ He named his humble burger stand, positioned on Ayers Street in Corpus Christi, ‘Whataburger.’ ”
Today, Whataburger has greater than 820 places, with more than 670 of these in Texas. Whataburger’s different locations are inside the South and Southwest, along with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The enterprise has over 43,000 employees and has extra than $2 billion in annual sales, keeping with a company news release.
“Whataburger is an iconic logo and outstanding agency with an important legacy of a circle of relatives possession, loyal clients, treasured network involvement, devoted and proficient employees, and a distinctly skilled control team,” Tiffany Hagge, managing director of BDT Capital Partners, said in a written declaration. “We sit up for a protracted-time period partnership with the Whataburger team, persevering with their dedication to serving super, amazing-tasting food at a fee and turning in superior client experience. We are excited to guide Whataburger as they keep to innovate and pursue accelerated growth in current and new markets.”
The sale turned into no longer surprising. Whataburger stated last month that it had hired investment banking company Morgan Stanley to help the organization discern out how excellent to gasoline its enlargement.
“Whataburger has grown drastically over the years. And, intending to preserve gratifying our clients, we’ve been exploring distinctive alternatives to increase the emblem and introduce it to new audiences,” Atkinson stated. “We’ve long gone via this procedure purposefully and diligently due to the fact we desired to find an associate who honors our values, culture, and sixty-nine-yr legacy of the circle of relatives lifestyle.”
Richard Perez, CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, said Whataburger has lengthy been a solid corporate citizen in San Antonio and all through Texas.
“Whataburger has been extremely concerned in the San Antonio community, and additionally involved in diverse forums and of the path they have got given substantially to community groups,” he stated. “They’re continually everywhere.”
BDT Capital Partners’ plans for increasing the chain will probably create more excellent jobs in San Antonio and also more possibilities delivered back to the community, Perez stated.
“This permits them to make bigger the footprint, now not handiest restaurants however additionally in their retail area,” he stated. “This will allow them to go to another level, and the fact that they’re staying in Texas bodes very well for us.”