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NEW YORK - Just a month after an earlier deal was left on the grill, Diageo PLC is close to an agreement to sell Burger King Corp. to a consortium led by Texas Pacific Group for $1.5 billion, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
A deal could be announced as soon as Friday or early next week. While the structure of the transaction is still being discussed, the people said Diageo would play a significant role in financing the purchase.
Representatives of Texas Pacific, a leveraged-buyout firm based in San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas, and Diageo, the world's largest spirits company, declined to comment, as did Burger King.
Diageo, looking to focus on its core liquor business, has been seeking to sell or spin off Burger King for the past two years. In July, the London spirits firm struck a deal to sell the chain to Texas Pacific, Bain Capital Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s private-equity arm for $2.26 billion. But a fierce price war broke out between McDonald's Corp. and Burger King in October when McDonald's began selling two of its biggest sandwiches for $1 each, leading to concerns about profits.