Whataburger announced on Friday the sale of a majority interest in the company to a merchant bank that advises and invests in family and founder-led companies.
Whataburger says BDT Capital Partners, LLC, has agreed to acquire through its affiliated funds a majority interest in Whataburger.
Together, BDT and Whataburger will begin to explore expansion plans.
“Whataburger has grown significantly over the years. And, in order to keep satisfying our customers, we’ve been exploring different options to expand the brand and introduce it to new audiences. We’ve gone through this process purposefully and diligently because we wanted to find a partner who honors our values, culture and 69-year legacy of family tradition,” said Whataburger President/CEO Preston Atkinson.
Many concerned Texans have expressed skepticism about the merger, hoping it doesn't change their beloved fast food chain. Whataburger released a statement in response to comfort worried restaurant goers.
An open letter to our beloved fans: pic.twitter.com/3pVjZ7zmKc— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) June 14, 2019
Texans icon JJ Watt has also joked about keeping the Whataburger menu as is by buying the restaurant.
Ok, I say we all chip in and buy Whataburger back. Make honey butter chicken biscuits available all day, add kolaches to the menu and change nothing else. Especially not the ketchup. https://t.co/HadutHXJ9l— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) June 14, 2019
Atkinson says BDT wants to preserve the brand they have built while helping the company continue to grow a sustainable, competitive business over a long period of time.
"They don’t plan to change our recipe for success," Atkinson says.
Whataburger headquarters will remain in San Antonio.