NEW YORK—May 9, 2002— Reuters Newswire reported yesterday that Diageo Plc executives told attendees at the Goldman Sachs Global Consumer Conference on Wednesday that the up-for-sale Burger King franchise posted “its best U.S. sales growth numbers in year.” The announcement could have a significant effect on the half dozen bidders vying for the chain sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

At the conference, Diageo credited the leadership of Burger King’s new CEO and Chairman John Dasburg for the turnaround at the world’s #2 burger chain. In recent months, Dasburg has lead the introduction of new products like the BK Veggie and the Chicken Whopper and brokered partnership deals with heavy players such AOL Time Warner. Diageo says it expects Burger King’s numbers to only grow stronger with Dasburg at the helm.

Already bidders have offered up to $2.2 billion for the chain, according to Reuters. Second round bids are expected in mid-June after potential bidders have had time to look at Burger King’s second quarter results.

News, Burger King