FAT Brands announced Monday the acquisition of Smokey Bones Barbecue from private equity firm Sun Capital Partners for $30 million. This acquisition marks the company’s first brand purchase since acquiring Nestle Toll House Café by Chip from Crest Foods in May 2022, and will be FAT Brands’ first foray into the barbecue category.
“We continue to be selective and opportunistic in our acquisition strategy, targeting brands that are both scalable and synergistic with our existing platform,” Rob Rosen, Co-CEO of FAT Brands, said in a statement. “We are pleased to add another polished dining brand, which will provide more options for our sales team to offer our franchise partners to further their new unit development.”
This is not the first time FAT Brands has done business with Sun Capital Partners: the company purchased Johnny Rockets from the private equity firm back in Sept. 2020, which kicked off a brand acquisition spree as FAT Brands continued to bolster its portfolio with new brands across diverse categories. In 2021, FAT Brands’ purchases included Global Franchise Group, Twin Peaks, Fazoli’s and Native Grill & Wings. Following the completion of the Fazoli’s purchase in Nov. 2021, then-CEO Andy Wiederhorn said that they might take a break for a while to “grow the brands we already have.”
“As we have spent the year focusing on digesting past acquisitions, we’ve also been amplifying the explosive growth in our polished dining vertical,” Andy Wiederhorn, chairman and founder of FAT Brands said in a statement. “Having a strong player in the barbecue space provides another arrow in our quiver for the polished dining segment and opens the door for additional growth strategies for our sister brands. We look forward to generating impressive results, similar to our Johnny Rockets integration, which we also acquired from an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners.”
Wiederhorn stepped down from his role as CEO earlier this year in the aftermath of ongoing federal investigations of alleged securities and wire fraud, money laundering and attempted tax evasion.
With the new acquisition of Smokey Bones, the purchase is expected to increase annual adjusted EBITDA by about $10 million and will bring 61 new restaurant locations under FAT Brands’ restaurant portfolio.
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