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Restaurant Brands International, the fast-food chain controlled by three Brazilian billionaires and Warren Buffett, is nearing a deal to acquire smaller rival Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, people briefed about the matter said.

The Canadian-based owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons hopes to add the US-listed fried-chicken chain as early as this week, those people added.

Restaurants Brands started talks about a potential combination with Popeyes several months ago, but the negotiations died out towards the end of last year.

However, more recently the two sides have started to discuss a possible deal again and now feel more comfortable reaching an agreement, said two people familiar with the negotiation.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Burger King renewed its interest in Popeyes late last week and made an offer that was mainly cash. It added that Popeyes has since tried to gauge the interest of other potential buyers but has failed to attract any fresh bids.

Popeyes has a market capitalisation of about $1.37bn, while Restaurant Brands is worth $25bn.

Popeyes and Restaurant Brands did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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