American private equity firm Blackstone is on the hunt for a buyer to take over the Burger King New Zealand franchise.

A spokesperson for Craigs Investment Partners confirmed it has been mandated to sell the business on behalf of Blackstone.

Deutsche Craigs has been hired to run an auction for the fast food business.

The AFR reports that Burger King NZ makes an estimated $20 million each year.

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A flier flagging the sale has been released, which plays on the brand being resilient.

Blackstone paid close to $108m in 2011 for the franchise for 75 restaurants. Today, there are 85 spread across the country, 83 of which are owned by Blackstone.

The Herald has approached Antares Restaurant Group, the company which operates Burger King NZ, for comment.

The last few years have been turbulent for Burger King, which has faced scrutiny for its treatment of staff and questionable working conditions.

In August, Antares Restaurant Group was banned from hiring migrant workers for a year for breaching the Minimum Wage Act. The ban extends until July this year.

Burger King was also ordered to pay an Auckland woman $3500 for failing to pay her minimum wage on three occasions during her employment as a trainee manager - employed on a salary of $37,500.

Salaried workers on $41,000 per year would be paid less than the minimum wage if they worked just one extra eight-hour shift a fortnight, an investigation by the Labour Inspectorate found.

Earlier last year Burger King workers staged a number of strikes, picketing for higher pay and better working conditions.

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Negotiations between Antares and the union which represents its workers lasted more than a year. The fast-food operator refused to attend mediation meetings for three weeks the Herald reported in June last year.

Burger King workers are said to be among the lowest paid in the fast food industry.