San Antonio-based Whataburger might sell a stake in the popular fast-food chain known for its made-to-order burgers, bright orange brand palette, and A-frame architecture.
A spokeswoman with the privately held Whataburger confirmed Thursday that the company has hired Morgan Stanley, a financial services company, to explore selling a minority stake to a financial investor or private equity firm.
“Our company is growing and is always attractive to investors, we constantly get inquiries,” Whataburger said in a statement. “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.”
Founded by Harmon Dobson and Paul Burton in 1950, with a burger stand in Corpus Christi, Whataburger is now owned by the Dobson family and operates over 820 restaurants in 10 states spanning Arizona to Florida.
In 2009, the company moved its headquarters from Corpus to the Concord Plaza building in San Antonio.
In 2018, Restaurant Business ranked Whataburger 31st on its list of the top 250 chain restaurants in the United States with $2.2 billion in sales. (McDonald’s had $36 billion in sales.) A recent Reuters report stated that Whataburger could be valued at more than $6 billion.