Burger King Worldwide Holdings Inc.'s recent development deal with the Kurdoglu family to open 1,000 restaurants in China throughout the next five to seven years represents the largest multi-unit development agreement in the brand's 58-year history.

The deal is backed by the financial resources of private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group.

Burger King's aggressive growth in China will solidify the Kurdoglu family as the system's largest global franchisee.

"Expanding our brand's presence in China further exemplifies our company's commitment to strengthening our global restaurant portfolio and establishing a strong brand presence in key growth markets around the world," said Elias Diaz Sese, president, BK Asia Pacific. "We have partnered with solid investors and experienced restaurant operators to accelerate our net restaurant growth in China, while introducing our signature great-tasting, fire-grilled menu items to millions of consumers in the country."

The Kurdoglu family, which was advised by Ata Invest, Istanbul, operates TAB Gida, currently the BK system's largest international franchisee. Under its operational leadership, it has grown the brand in Turkey from one restaurant to more than 450.

"We are very excited to expand our relationship with Burger King and further establish the brand's presence in such an exciting, active market with a vibrant economy and substantial growth potential," said Erhan Kurdoglu, chairman of the new venture.

Under the terms of the partnership, the new venture has signed a long-term master franchise and development agreement with BKW and has obtained the exclusive rights to expand the brand in China, where there are currently 63 Burger King restaurants.

BKW's expansion plans in China are aligned with the company's long-term global growth strategy. Earlier this month, BKW announced a joint venture in Russia to rapidly expand the brand's presence in the market with several hundred BK restaurants expected to open in the next several years. Last July, BKW also announced a similar venture in Brazil to add several hundred restaurants in South America's fastest-growing economy.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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