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Another blank check company filed to go public last week with eyes set on targeting the “traditional and non-traditional’ restaurant space.

New restaurant-veteran-driven blank-check company Bite Acquisition Corp. files for IPO with plans to invest in foodservice sector

Directors include former Dine Brands CEO Julia Stewart and Thomas Keller Restaurant Group president and CEO Joseph Essa

Another blank check company filed to go public last week with eyes set on targeting the “traditional and non-traditional” restaurant space.

The special purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC, named Bite Acquisition Corp. filed in late January to raise $150 million with public offering. Among the directors is Julia Stewart, former chair and CEO of IHOP and Applebee’s parent Dine Brands Global Inc., and Joseph Essa, president and CEO of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and the former president and CEO of Wolfgang Puck Worldwide.

Applying to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BITE.U, Bite has two years to determine its target, which will likely include a merger, acquisition or other business combination with one or more companies, with a focus on the restaurant sector in North America. The group indicated they would look at quick-service, fast-casual, polished-casual or fine-dining segments, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. 

They plan to look for growth concepts with an enterprise value in the $400 million to $850 million range or higher.

“Our business strategy is to focus on brands that have robust development potential in national and international markets, and that have product offerings suitable for multi-generational and diverse ethnic palettes,” the Bite filing said. “We will look for a company or companies with strong and effective business practices in place and support the existing management team to accelerate growth with the additive experience and relationships from our management team and advisor.”

Chairing the group is Rafael Felipe de Jesús Aguirre Gómez, who is founder, CEO and chair of Mera Corp., a food-and-beverage company based in Cancun, Mexico, that operates more than 150 restaurants in five countries, including many in airports, filings said.

International mergers-and-acquisitions specialist Alberto Ardura González is CEO and his background includes 35 years in the financial world, including Merrill Lynch Mexico and Deutsche Bank. He also founded Coscomate Hospitality Group LLC, with operations in the U.S., Mexico and Spain.

Other directors include Randall Hiatt, founder of consulting firm Fessel International.

Bite Acquisition joins a growing number of SPACs looking for investment opportunities in the restaurant sector.

Fast Acquisition Corp. listed as FAST in August and this week announced an agreement to merge with Tilman Fertitta’s multiconcept group Fertitta Entertainment, based in Houston, the holding company for Golden Nugget LLC and Landry’s LLC. 

Landry’s has more than 500 restaurants under brands such as Del Frisco’s, Landry’s Seafood House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Morton’s The Steakhouse and The Oceanaire Seafood Room.

Last month, another SPAC named Tastemaker Acquisition Corp. raised about $240 million after listing on Nasdaq.  Also looking at the hospitality sector, Tastemaker is led by former Barcelona and Bartaco co-CEO and co-founder Andy Pforzheimer, and former Jamba Juice CEO Dave Pace.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct the name of Dave Pace.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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