Tim Hortons has been purchases by Burger King

VIDEO: Burger King, Tim Hortons join forces to form world’s 3rd largest fast food company

The iconic Canadian coffee chain eyes expansion into the United States, where it currently only has 866 of its 4,546 stores.

Burger King has purchased Tim Hortons in an $11-billion deal that makes the new company the world’s third-largest fast food family (behind McDonald’s and KFC).

While the merged company will be headquartered in Canada, the two will continue to operate as stand-alone brands, meaning Timmy’s coffee will not be on Burger King menus and vice versa.

The move also allow for greater growth for each, as Tim Hortons has tried rather unsuccessfully to expand into the United States in recent years and Burger King says it is eyeing a greater global presence.

“We are very proud of the great history of our organization and the progress we have achieved in creating value and delivering the ultimate experience for our guests,” said Tim Hortons president and CEO Mark Caira on Tuesday, in a company press release.

“As an independent brand within the new company, this transaction will enable us to move more quickly and efficiently to bring Tim Hortons iconic Canadian brand to a new global customer base.”

Together, the two companies combined for a total $23 billion in system sales and over 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries around the world (Canadian Press).

Tim Hortons, the iconic Canadian coffee and doughnut chain, was previously owned by Wendy’s, from 1995 to 2006.

On Monday, after talks between the two snack shops were confirmed, Canadian critics aired their reactions to the news.

“Canadians take a real interest in any potential sale of Tim Hortons to Burger King,” said NDP industry critic Peggy Nash. “It’s especially of concern to the 100,000 Canadians who work at Tim Hortons.

“What we need to know is that jobs will be protected, and we’re really looking for transparency from the federal government under the Investment Canada Act, to know that there will be a net benefit to Canada.”

Tim Hortons has over 4,500 stores currently, the vast majority of them in Canada.

“They’ve had some difficulty penetrating the U.S. market with dedicated Tim Hortons franchises and part of that is, of course, that while the brand is one of Canada’s strongest, it really doesn’t have much resonance in the U.S., especially up against Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Ken Wong, a marketing expert with Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

In Canada, Tims goes up against several smaller coffee chains, as well as Starbucks and McDonald’s, which also offer both coffee and similar food.

Tim Hortons also has 50 stores in the Middle East.

The company was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ont. by its namesake, the late NHLer Tim Horton who died in 1974, and Ron Joyce.

“… our customers, employees, franchisees and fellow Canadians can all rest assured that Tim Hortons will still be Tim Hortons following this transaction, including our core values, employee and franchisee relationships, community support and fresh coffee,” Caira said.

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