Brinker forms new venture for Mexican development

DALLAS Brinker International Inc. and a Mexican multiconcept restaurant company have created a new corporation to develop Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy brands in Mexico.

Brinker and CMR SAB de SV, formerly known as Corporacion Mexicana de Restaurantes, said the venture would develop at least 50 restaurants over the next four years. The companies expect five restaurants to open by the end of this year and nine more to open by the end of 2008. CMR operates 95 foodservice units in Mexico, including cafeterias, quick-service concepts and such casual-dining brands as Chili’s.

“This important transaction significantly contributes to our objectives of accelerated growth, and it allows us to partner with one of the global leaders in the restaurant industry,” said Jose Antonio Fernandez, chief executive of CMR.

Greg Walther, Brinker’s president of global business development, said, “CMR has been a respected business partner of ours for more than 10 years.”

Brinker expects this month to open its 50th Chili's location in Mexico. The company has no Maggiano’s in the nation.

CMR’s brands also include Wings, Meridien, Fonda Mexicana, Los Almendros, La Destileria and El Lago.