Warren Buffett defended Burger King's plan to expatriate to Canada in an appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box Thursday morning, saying that the deal isn't a move to skirt taxes.
"I would tell you that overwhelmingly most inversion deals have had a huge tax motivation in doing them. I can tell you this one didn't," the billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO responded when host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked if the deal was unpatriotic.
In August, Burger King announced plans to acquire the Canadian coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons for about $11 billion, moving the struggling fast-food company's headquarters from Miami to Toronto. The deal, which would create a combined company with projected sales of $23 billion, has been under scrutiny by critics who accuse Burger King of trying to dodge paying U.S. taxes.
"It doesn't have anything to do with taxes. It has to do with the fact that Tim Hortons earns twice as much money as Burger King does," Buffett said.
Though Burger King did not respond immediately to a request for comment, the company has maintained in the past that the deal isn't about dodging taxes.
In September, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new rules that would make so-called inversion deals more difficult, but it's unclear if the new rules will have much of an impact on Burger King.