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World’s second-largest hamburger restaurant chain Burger King Worldwide, Inc. (BKW - Analyst Report) is ready to step into the lucrative Indian market with the signing of a joint venture agreement with the private equity and real estate firm — Everstone Group. The financial terms of the deal were, however, not disclosed.

Per the alliance, Everstone will act as Burger King’s long-term master franchisee and developer of new restaurants across India. The joint venture will also allow Everstone to have Burger King’s sub-franchise rights throughout the country.

Prior to developing Burger King Restaurants, Everstone will establish the supply chain network and also implement a roll-out initiative in association with BK AsiaPac Pte. Ltd. across the country.  

Everstone is one of the key investors in the private equity and real estate business in India and South East Asia. Established in 2006, the firm boasts superior local market knowledge and has a proven track record of venturing into the consumer products and services, food & beverage, education, healthcare, financial services and logistics industry. With its sound knowledge of Indian food habits, the franchisee expects to benefit from the collaboration with Burger King.

This joint venture affirms Burger King’s intent to make India one of the prime markets for expansion. According to a report by the U.S. Commercial Service, the middle-income population in India will grow tenfold by 2025. The income growth of the larger populace also makes India a lucrative investment proposition. The company’s strategy is also likely to be successful because of the under-penetration of quick-service restaurants in India compared with the saturated North American countries. The opening will also strengthen the company’s global footprint.

Another famous U.S.-based burger chain McDonald's Corp. (MCD - Analyst Report) has successfully established its presence in the Indian market.

Burger King has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Investors interested in the restaurant industry may consider stocks like Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL - Snapshot Report) and Bob Evans Farms, Inc. (BOBE - Snapshot Report). Both these companies hold a Zacks Rank #2.

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