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Tim Hortons is shifting its efforts to build the U.S. business to its headquarters in Canada.

Chris Young/The Globe and Mail

The new owner of Tim Hortons Inc. has closed the café chain's U.S. head office just as it is gearing up for a big push south of the border.

Tim Hortons is shifting its efforts to build the U.S. business to its headquarters in Canada, spokesman Patrick McGrade said on Tuesday.

He did not elaborate on job cuts.

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"As we have indicated before, the U.S. remains a top priority growth market for Tim Hortons," Mr. McGrade said in an e-mail. "We have made the strategic decision to drive that growth from our newly built Tim Hortons Global Restaurant Support Centre located here in Oakville, Ontario."

Mr. McGrade said the closing of Tim Hortons' U.S. headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, "will see new positions located here in Canada focused on supporting the U.S. business." And he said Tim Hortons' U.S. operations will be backed "on the ground by an extensive field operations team located in the U.S."

3G Capital Partners LP of Brazil, which acquired Tim Hortons in December, is known for its cost cutting at an array of companies it has taken over, such as Burger King Worldwide Inc. At Tim Hortons, it has already chopped 350 jobs or about 15 per cent of its 2,300 staff at headquarters and regional offices.

3G has followed a similar path at its other past takeovers, including H.J. Heinz Co. and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, which is the parent of Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd. The staff reductions have generally improved the results at the companies but left them with deep budget cuts.

Tim Hortons, which has been merged with Burger King under parent Restaurant Brands International Inc., had about 30 employees in its U.S. head office, an industry source said. Mr. McGrade did not provide numbers.

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