Germany's biggest Burger King franchisee files for insolvency

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Yi-Ko Holding, formerly the biggest operator of Burger King BKW.N restaurants in the country, has filed for insolvency, Yi-Ko's lawyers said, putting 3,000 jobs at risk.

Burger King had told Yi-Ko three weeks ago to shut down its 89 restaurants across Germany immediately, saying the franchisee had violated its rules on the treatment of employees.

The move did not affect the remaining 599 Burger King restaurants in Germany.

Law firm Graf von Westphalen, acting for Yi-Ko, said on Wednesday they submitted an insolvency filing with a court in the northern German town of Stade after talks to come to an agreement with Burger King failed.

“We negotiated intensely until the end,” the law firm said.

Burger King said in a statement that it had been unable to assess the risks of staying in business with Yi-Ko in the short time available.

“But we will continue to try to find a solution to re-open the restaurants quickly and secure the jobs,” it said, without saying who might operate the outlets in the future.

Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by Maria Sheahan. Editing by Jane Merriman