) --

Burger King Holdings


said Wednesday the "go-shop" period related to its recent buyout announcement expired.

The "go-shop" period allows a company being acquired the right to solicit superior bids from third parties for a period of 40 calendar days.

Rumors began circulating on Sept. 1 -- and were then confirmed a day later -- that

Burger King will be taken private by 3G Capital Management for $24 per share


>>Burger King Agrees to Buyout

Burger King said Wednesday it did not receive any alternative acquisition proposals during the "go-shop" period.

A public company since 2006, the Whopper-and-fries chain has been in the hands of private equity before. In 2002, a group led by

TPG Capital


Bain Capital


Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

Capital Partners bought Burger King for about $1.5 billion from


(DEO) - Get Report

. The firms still own nearly 32% of Burger King, and have significant representation on the board.

Burger King shares have traded just below $24 ever since the deal was announced early last month.

>> Sell Burger King Shares Now: Analyst

With the economy still very much in recovery mode and

the jobs market stubbornly weak

, consumers continue to be choosy about how they spend their limited discretionary funds. For the restaurant industry, that means the competition is stiffer than ever, and some dining establishments are bound to go bust.

>> Bankruptcy Watch: 20 Riskiest Restaurant Stocks

There have already been a number of restaurant stock takeovers in recent months. Notable among them:

Mexican restaurant operator Rubio's was taken private by

Mill Road Capital

earlier this year for $8.70 per share. In July an affiliate of

Apollo Management


CKE Restaurants

private for $694 million. CKE owned Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast-food chains.

A number of other restaurant chains have been speculated to be ripe for takeovers as well.

"The right private owner might help one or more of these chains eventually become better, and likely smaller, competitors" to


(MCD) - Get Report

, UBS wrote in a note to investors last month.

The note tapped





(WEN) - Get Report


Jack in the Box

(JACK) - Get Report

and Chili's operator

Brinker International

(EAT) - Get Report

as other potential restaurant stocks that may be targets for private-equity buyouts.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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Miriam Reimer


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>> 3 Restaurant Stocks to Buy Now

>> Burger King Agrees to Buyout

>> Bankruptcy Watch: 20 Riskiest Restaurant Stocks

>> Burger King Beats, Looks Abroad for Growth

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