Magic Johnson to Buy 30 Burger King Restaurants
MIAMI – Magic Johnson will soon be selling Whoppers.
The NBA Hall of Famer said Monday that his company, Magic Johnson Enterprises (search), has agreed to buy 30 existing Burger King (search) restaurants in Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Dallas and Miami. Terms of the deal effective July 1 were not disclosed.
"With these restaurants, we expect that as time passes, new jobs will be created and relationships with minority contractors will be strengthened in these four important cities," Johnson said in a statement.
"We believe that increasing our focus on existing minority-owned franchisees as well as developing more minority-owned franchises is a significant benefit for the Burger King system, and in addition, healthy franchisees help build wealth and expand job opportunities within urban communities," Burger King Corp. CEO Brad Blum said.
The restaurants will feature memorabilia from the former Laker's career, but they won't bear his name, said Clyde Rucker, a senior vice president at the Miami-based fast-food chain.
Johnson's company did not immediately return a call Monday seeking comment.
Johnson has opened movie theaters and T.G.I. Friday's (search) restaurants that bear his name in various cities nationwide. He has also opened two Starbucks coffee stores in South Florida as part of his corporation's plan to help create jobs in ethnically diverse urban neighborhoods.
Johnson's playing career was cut short in November 1991 when he tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, although he later made an aborted comeback attempt and briefly coached the Los Angeles Lakers (search). He won five NBA titles with the Lakers, to go with Michigan State's NCAA title in 1979 and an Olympic gold medal in 1992.