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Focus completes Moe's Southwest Grill deal

ATLANTA Multiconcept franchisor Focus Brands Inc. said it has completed its purchase of franchising rights to Moe's Southwest Grill and other assets of the fast-casual chain from Raving Brands.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. After the sales agreement was announced in April, a source close to the bidding said Focus would pay $120 million to $140 million, or 10 times Moe's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The source provided the information on the condition that he not be identified.

Moe's, formerly Raving's flagship brand, franchises 360 burrito restaurants in 34 states. With the addition of those contracts, Focus now operates or franchises more than 10,000 outlets in 50 states and 32 counties. Its other brands include Schlotzsky’s, Carvel and Cinnabon. Only the Schlotzsky’s chain currently includes company-operated units, and those are limited to a few dozen.

Focus itself is a holding of Roark Capital, the Atlanta-based private-equity firm. Focus and Raving also are based in Atlanta.

The deal pares Raving's portfolio of franchise concepts to Doc Green's Salads and Grill, Mama Fu's Asian House, Planet Smoothie, Shane's Rib Shack, PJ's Coffee and the Flying Biscuit. Its lone non-foodservice operation is Monkey Joe's, a chain of 12 indoor play areas, and all of its restaurant brands except the Flying Biscuit are quick-service concepts. Every chain but Flying Biscuit is virtually all franchised.

At the time the sale of Moe's was announced, Raving president Stephen M. LaMastra said the company intended to function as an "incubator" for its still-emerging other brands.

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