Burger King buyer names Bernardo Hees as future CEO

Burger King buyer has named a former Latin American railroad executive to be CEO of the fast-food chain after it completes its $3.26 billion acquisition.

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    Burger King signs are seen at a restaurant in Annandale, VA, in this August 24 photo.
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The investment firm buying Burger King has named a former Latin American railroad executive to be CEO of the fast-food chain after it completes its $3.26 billion acquisition.

3G Capital named Bernardo Hees to replace John Chidsey, who will become co-chairman after the deal closes.

Hees was most recently CEO of America Latina Logistica, Latin America's largest railroad company, in which 3G Capital owns a stake of about 6 percent. He became a partner at 3G Capital in July.

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Alexandre Behring, managing partner at 3G Capital, was also a prior CEO of the Brazilian railroad. Behring is set to become co-chairman as well after the deal closes.

"Bernardo is an experienced executive with an impressive track record of enhancing performance at America Latina Logistica, where he managed a team that drove strong gains in both revenues and profitability," Behring said in a statement. "I know he will be an excellent steward of the Burger King brand."

3G Capital, which made its offer last week, is expected to begin its effort to acquire the outstanding shares of Burger King for $24 per share by Sept. 17.

3G Capital has strong ties to Latin America, including ties to Jorge Paulo Lemann, a 71-year-old Brazilian billionaire.

The firm's other controlling or partial stakes include brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev and Lojas Americanas, a major Brazilian retailer and travel agency.

Hees began at America Latina Logistica in 1998 as a logistics analyst. He held a variety of executive positions there and had served as CEO since 2005.

On Aug. 31, just days before the Burger King deal was announced, the Brazilian railroad company announced that Hees would step down as CEO but remain on the board of directors. The company named chief operating officer Paulo Basilio to replace him Sept. 10.

Burger King shares were unchanged at $23.67 in early trading.

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