Burger King is cooking up a tax-friendly deal to merge with the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons.
Combined they would be the third biggest fast food group in the world worth around $18 (13.6 billion euros). Shares of both rose on the news.
The plan is to base the merged company in Canada through what is known as tax inversion, to take advantage of lower corporate taxes than Burger King currently pays in the United States.
Such tax inversions, which are becoming increasingly popular among big businesses, have been criticised by President Barack Obama who has called firms who do that “corporate deserters”.
US drugstore group Walgreen recently decided against a tax inversion deal in its takeover of European pharmacy chain Alliance Boots, saying it was not in the best long-term interest of shareholders to attempt to re-domicile outside the US.
Amid heightened political sensitivity in the United States to such tax-cutting transactions, Walgreen said it was mindful of the public reaction to a potential inversion deal.
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