Burger King confirmed Tuesday it will purchase Canadian coffee shop chain Tim Hortons in an $11 billion deal.
The acquisition by 3G Capital, Burger King's owner, will create the world's third largest fast food chain. Burger King's headquarters will remain in Miami, and that of Tim Hortons, which has coffee and doughnut shops throughout Canada and the northeastern United States, is in Oakville, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto.
The unification of two iconic brands will likely lower Burger King's tax burden and reignite calls to change U.S. laws regarding inversion, the practice of U.S. firms purchasing foreign firms to establish a foreign headquarters and be eligible for the foreign country's tax structure.
The combined companies would have global sales of $23 billion, and 18,000 locations in 98 countries, although business regulators in Canada and the United States have yet to weigh in on the proposed sale.
The Obama administration has been critical of the law permitting tax-avoidance arrangements such as inversions, but has been unable to persuade the U.S. Congress to pass legislation outlawing the process. A threat of political interference, earlier this month, cancelled the merger of the U.S. drugstore chain Walgreens with its British counterpart, Alliance Boots.
"The goal here is to change the law and get Congress to pass legislation that would prevent the ability of American corporations to renounce their citizenship all in pursuit of trying to get out of paying their fair share of US taxes," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, without mentioning Burger King by name.