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Texans are freaking out over the news that a Chicago merchant bank is buying a majority stake in the iconic chain Whataburger

Business Insider | Jun 17, 2019, 08.42PM IST


Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

News of a deal between iconic Texan chain Whataburger and a Northern bank is sparking panic among some of the chain's most loyal fans.

  • Whataburger announced on Friday that Chicago-based BDT Capital Partners agreed to acquire a majority share of the Texas family-owned company.
  • Many Texans panicked in response to the news, worrying that a deal with a Northern bank would diminish Whataburger's quality.
  • NFL stars and the state's governor proposed that Texans chip in and buy the iconic chain themselves.
  • "Texas, we don't want you to be upset. We will always be Texan and represent you in a way that makes you proud," Whataburger said on social media.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
News of a deal between iconic Texan chain Whataburger and a Northern bank is sparking panic among some of the chain's most loyal fans.

On Friday, Whataburger announced that it had reached a deal with Chicago-based BDT Capital Partners, LLC, in which the merchant bank will acquire a majority share in the family-owned company. Tom Dobson, the son of Whataburger's founder Harmon Dobson, will step down as CEO but remain on the company's board.

"This is both exciting and bittersweet for the Dobson family. Whataburger has been the heart and soul of our family legacy for nearly 70 years, but we feel really good about the partnership with BDT," Dobson said in a statement. "They have a track record of success with businesses as special as ours that want to grow, while preserving culture and family history."

Read more: I visited Whataburger, a Texas chain with a cult following, for the first time. Here's what it's like.

Many Whataburger fans were concerned about what might happen to the beloved chain with a Chicago-based merchant bank in charge.

NFL star J. J. Watts, who plays for the The Houston Texans, tweeted a plan for Texans to acquire the chain, which was backed by Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes.

Even the state govenor chimed in, with Gov. Greg Abbott tweeting a meme featuring President George W. Bush and the phrase: "Get in J.J. - We're saving Whataburger."



Twitter/Greg Abbott

Whataburger has taken to social media to assure fans that it is doing its best and that the chain's quality will not change under the new leadership.

In a statement released on social media, Whataburger said: "Texas, we don't want you to be upset. We will always be Texan and represent you in a way that makes you proud. #believethat."

If you have a Whataburger story to share, contact ktaylor@businessinsider.com.











NOW WATCH: We tried Whataburger, the 'In-N-Out of Texas' - here's our verdict

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