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Chain now among the largest

Tim Hortons, Canada's favorite doughnut and coffee chain, could soon become a bigger international player.

Burger King said Tuesday that it struck a deal to buy the chain for about $11 billion and move its corporate headquarters to Canada. The companies say the deal creates the world's third-largest fast-food company.

3G Capital, the investment firm that owns a majority of Burger King, says it will use its expertise to expand Tim Hortons around the world, although it provided no details on specific markets in which it would expand.

Here's a brief look at Tim Hortons:

• The chain was founded in 1964 and initially sold just coffee and doughnuts. Over the years, it added bagels, muffins, cakes, pies, soups, chili, sandwiches and the bite-sized doughnut holes known as Timbits.

• Ron Joyce was the original franchisee of the first restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario. Joyce and professional hockey player Tim Horton became full partners in the company in 1967. Horton died in a car accident in February 1974, at which point Joyce became the sole owner.

• Wendy's International Inc. bought Tim Hortons in 1995. In 2006, Wendy's spun off Tim Hortons as a separate company.

• It is now Canada's dominant fast-food chain with more than 3,600 locations. McDonald's, by contrast, had about 1,400 locations in the country last year. Overall, Tim Hortons has more than 4,500 locations, including 866 in the U.S.

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