Burger King’s largest franchisee has grown larger thanks to a series of six deals since October that have given Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. another 46 locations, the company said on Tuesday.
Carrols said it has completed the deals for restaurants in several states from Michigan to New Jersey. The additional units give Carrols a total of 705 Burger King locations.
“We continue to effectively execute our acquisition strategy,” Daniel Accordino, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. He noted that the company has bought a total of 55 new units in 2015. “We are focused on capturing operational synergies and enhancing profitability of the restaurants we have acquired over the past couple of years.
Carrols in 2012 signaled a major expansion effort when it bought 278 locations from Burger King as well as the franchisor’s right of first refusal to buy any franchisee put up for sale in 20 states. It has since acquired numerous locations in several states using that right.
The latest set of deals started in October with the acquisition of five locations in West Virginia and Ohio, and then a location in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Carrols then bought eight locations in two separate deals in Indiana and Kentucky in November.
The biggest deal came this month, when Carrols bought 23 Burger King locations in Detroit. And more recently Carrols closed on a deal for nine units in Northern New Jersey.
The acquisitions continue a trend of consolidation in the franchise sector. Larger franchisees are buying up smaller operators, as well as company-owned units in refranchising deals, fueled by an abundance of low-cost debt available to quality operators. The trend is helping large-scale franchisees like Carrols, which is one of the largest franchisees in the country, get even bigger.
Accordino said the company isn’t done buying locations. “At the same time, we continue to pursue opportunities to acquire additional Burger King restaurants in support of our ongoing expansion objectives.”