Texas-based Whataburger confirmed to local media that it has hired Morgan Stanley to explore its options, including a possible sale.
The fast-food chain told the San Antonio Business Journal in a statement, “Our company is growing and is always attractive to investors, and we’ve brought in Morgan Stanley to help us explore our options. We have always evaluated the opportunities that can accelerate growth and maintain the success of our brand, and we will continue to do so in the future.”
Reuters first reported on May 6 that Whataburger was exploring options, including a sale. A source told Reuters the chain “could fetch a valuation of more than $6 billion.”
The company has 827 locations in 10 states, most located in Texas. QSR reported Whataburger had more than $2.2 billion in sales in 2017, making it the 22nd largest limited-service restaurant, above other chains such as Five Guys and Carl’s Jr.
Whataburger is known for its white-and-orange-striped packaging and its spicy ketchup. The popular chain first opened in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1950.