The company running the Chinese business of iconic Canadian coffee shop chain Tim Hortons agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check company Silver Crest Acquisition Corp.

The transaction will give Tim Hortons China a Nasdaq listing and value the business at about US$1.69 billion including debt, Silver Crest said in a regulatory filing Monday, which confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report the parties were nearing an agreement. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Tim Hortons China is a joint venture between Restaurant Brands International Inc., owner of the coffee chain brand, and private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group. Other investors include Sequoia Capital China and Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Existing shareholders in Tim Hortons China will roll over their stakes, giving them about 80 per cent of the combined company when the SPAC merger closes, according to Monday’s filing. Shares of Silver Crest Acquisition gained 0.4 per cent to US$9.81 at 9:39 a.m. Monday in New York, while Restaurant Brands International shares were down 0.1 per cent.

Silver Crest Acquisition, led by chairman Leon Meng, is backed by Greater China-focused private equity firm Ascendent Capital Partners. Merging with the special purpose acquisition company will provide Tim Hortons China with capital for future store development and other potential growth investments, it said in the filing.

Co-founded by hockey player Tim Horton, who opened the first Tim’s location in 1964, the coffee chain spread across Canada and became a national symbol. An US$11 billion takeover in 2014 saw Tim’s absorbed into newly-formed conglomerate Restaurant Brands International, alongside quick-service brands Burger King and, since 2017, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Silver Crest raised US$345 million in a January initial public offering and said it was seeking a target in the high-growth consumer and consumer technology sectors. It counts veteran banker Christopher Lawrence as vice chairman and Ascendent’s Derek Cheung as chief executive officer.