Tim Hortons, the iconic, Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain owned by Restaurant Brands (QSR) - Get Report , announced Friday that it will enter into a joint venture with a consortium of Mexican investors. The goal: to develop the brand in Mexico.
The move is designed to explore a potentially robust new market. In fact, this could be a great way for investors to profit from the rise of coffee culture in Mexico.
Restaurant Brands' shares rose more than 1% to $50 in Friday trading.
As in many parts of the globe, improved employment opportunities, a stronger economy, and a burgeoning millennial population with a penchant for gourmet beverages are boosting demand for coffee products throughout Mexico.
The coffee market in this Latin American country is expected to grow at a compound, annual growth rate of 5.83% through 2020.
"Mexico has a thriving coffee market, so we are very optimistic about the opportunity to grow the brand across the country," Restaurant Brands's CEO, Daniel Schwartz, said in a statement on Friday.
Restaurant Brands was created in 2014 when Florida-based Burger King purchased Tim Hortons in a deal worth roughly $11 billion and set up headquarters in Ontario. At the time, the company drew the ire of Washington, which opined that the whole setup was contrived to dodge taxes. In reality, the tax rate for Burger King has been relatively unchanged.
Burger King is one of the most popular fast-food outlets in the U.S., competing with McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report and Wendy's (WEN) - Get Report , and beyond. On the other hand, although there are more than 600 Tim Hortons locations in the U.S., the majority of that chain's nearly 4,500 locations are located in Canada. Tim Hortons, named after an ice hockey star, is a Canadian institution.
It remains to be seen if the company can duplicate that kind of success in Mexico, where it will be competing against Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report(which has 600 stores there), as well as a growing number of Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN) - Get Report locations.
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Restaurant Brands' Canadian headquarters could be an advantage if President Donald Trump continues to strain relations between the U.S. and Mexico, making it increasingly difficult for American companies to do business in Mexico. Canada has better relations with Mexico.
With a strong international portfolio, Restaurant Brands remains a great play for investors. The stock is up following news of the Mexican joint venture, but watch for any dips in price as opportunities to get in.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.