Whataburger sells majority interest to Chicago investment company

FILE PHOTO: Texas-based burger chain Whataburger is no longer family-owned after the company sold a majority interest to a Chicago investment company Friday. (Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/

SAN ANTONIO — Texas-based burger chain Whataburger is no longer family owned after the company sold a majority interest to a Chicago investment company Friday.

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The deal with BDT Capital Partners is expected to help Whataburger with long-term expansion plans, the companies said. There are currently 828 locations in 10 states throughout the country.

"Whataburger has grown significantly over the years," Whataburger President/CEO Preston Atkinson said in a statement. "And, in order to keep satisfying our customers, we've been exploring different options to expand the brand and introduce it to new audiences."

Much of Whataburger’s current leadership team will remain but will take on new roles. The Dobson family, which started the burger chain 69 years ago, will focus on its philanthropic endeavors.