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Landry's acquires Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Deal marks Landry's third restaurant purchase this year

Landry’s Inc. said Monday it had acquired the 32-unit Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. casual-dining chain, fresh off the restaurant and gaming company's purchase of Claim Jumper last week.

Terms of the deal for San Clemente, Calif.-based Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. were not disclosed.

Landry’s said Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurants Inc. generated about $200 million in sales in 2009 and averaged annual domestic revenues of $7.2 million per unit.

“The business model of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. represents high-volume restaurants and specialty locations, making it an ideal fit for Landry’s model,” said Landry's founder Tilman J. Fertitta.

Bubba Gump is the third restaurant company Landry's has acquired this year, following the purchase of the 45-unit Claim Jumper casual-dining chain for $76.6 million in cash and liabilities on Nov. 2 and the 12-unit Oceanaire Seafood Room in a $23.6 million deal in April. Both Claim Jumper and Oceanaire were purchased out of bankruptcy.

Also this year, Fertitta closed on a $1.4 billion deal to take Houston-based Landry's private.


Landry's CEO on the art of the deal
Bankruptcy court approves Claim Jumper sale
Landry’s to buy Oceanaire Seafood Room

The first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., which is based on Paramount Picture’s “Forrest Gump” movie, opened in 1996 on Cannery Row in Monterey, Calif., in a licensing deal between Viacom Consumer Products and the owners of the Rusty Pelican Restaurants Inc. As the Bubba Gump brand grew, the company spun off most of its Rusty Pelican locations to Landry’s, which owns several seafood-focused brands.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. now has 32 restaurants, mostly in high-profile tourist destinations such as Universal CityWalk in Hollywood, Calif.; Santa Monica Pier in California; Times Square in New York City; Navy Pier in Chicago; New Orleans’ French Quarter; and San Francisco’s Pier 39. International locations include Bali, Hong Kong, Cancun and Tokyo. 

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.'s founding president and chief executive, Scott Barnett, stepped down in February, though his partner, Gordon Miles, remained as chairman.

“We know that under Tilman’s and Landry’s stewardship the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. concept will continue to grow and improve,” Miles said.

The Bumba Gump purchase also includes a lone Rusty Pelican in Newport Beach, Calif.

Bubba Gump will fit “easily” into the Landry’s portfolio, Fertitta said.

“They were successful even during the recession because of their great locations,” he added. “We will get a lot of purchasing synergies and corporate synergies.”

Several of Bubba Gump’s international locations are wholly owned by the company and some are licensed, Fertitta said. “We already have a dozen units abroad right now,” he said. “Abroad units are usually not as profitable as domestic units, but we still look forward to it as an opportunity to grow.”

Landry’s owns a wide variety of restaurants, including of Rainforest Cafe, Saltgrass Steak House, Landry’s Seafood House, Charley’s Crab and The Chart House restaurant concepts. In addition, it owns Vic & Anthony’s, Brenner’s Steakhouse, Grotto, LaGriglia, Pesce, Willie G’s  and Oceanaire.

Its other hospitality businesses include the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin in Nevada, the Kemah Boardwalk, the San Luis Resort, Inn at the Ball Park and the Downtown Aquarium in Denver and Houston.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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