With the announcement that Whataburger is exploring a possible sale of the beloved, family-owned fast-food chain to an investor or private equity firm, Amy Curtis in the Dallas office of Thompson & Knight LLP notes that the public relations and communications issues will be as important as the legal issues in any potential transaction.
“With a brand as iconic as Whataburger that people in Texas and throughout the South feel really passionate about, customers will want to know that a new owner (whether it acquires a minority or larger stake) is not going to change what they love about Whataburger,” says Ms. Curtis. “The company will also need to manage communications with its employees, who will undoubtedly be nervous about what a change might mean to them. All of these things will impact the deal negotiations too, because an investor will also want assurance that the company’s relationship with its customers and employees will continue to be strong after a deal is inked.”
Ms. Curtis has been involved in several billion-dollar transactions in recent years involving oil & gas, retail, technology, and construction.
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