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A big year for restaurant acquisitions

FAT Brands completes Hurricane Grill acquisition

The $12.5 million deal expands franchisor’s footprint

FAT Brands Inc. has completed the previously announced acquisition of Hurricane Grill & Wings for $12.5 million, the company said Thursday.

Los Angeles-based FAT Brands said the acquisition of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Hurricane, which has more than 50 units in eight states, included $8 million in cash and $4.5 million in preferred stock.

FAT said the deal brings its total restaurants to more than 325, including Fatburger, Buffalo’s Cafe, Buffalo’s Express and Ponderosa and Bonanza steakhouses.

“The completion of this acquisition will allow our management team to expand Hurricane’s footprint in both existing markets and new international markets through the company’s extensive network of franchise partners,” Andy Wiederhorn, FAT Brands president and CEO, said in a statement. 

FAT brands said Hurricane Grill & Wings, founded in 1995, complements its existing portfolio of brands, which includes Buffalo’s Cafe and Buffalo's Express, both chicken wing brands.

FAT, which stand for “fresh, authentic and tasty,” completed a $24 million Regulation A+ initial public offering in October, raising $24 million under new rules that enable small companies to raise money from investors in a “mini IPO.” 

“We are excited to complete our first acquisition since our IPO, and we remain committed to asset-light growth through a combination of accretive acquisitions of franchise brands and organic new store growth of existing brands,” Wiederhorn said.

John Metz, president and CEO of Hurricane Grill, added: “We are honored to officially join the FAT Brands family. This partnership will enable our team to leverage FAT Brands' proven expertise and robust infrastructure to realize our brand potential and grow our presence around the world.”

Separately, Brooksy Smith, who headed marketing and development Hurricane Grill’s three-unit Hurricane BTW (Burgers, Tacos and Wings) concept, said he would be leaving the company and returning to his role as president of the Houston-based Big Fish Brands LLC, which advises and manages small and mid-sized businesses.

Hurricane Grill & Wings first opened in Fort Pierce, Fla., in 1995 and has locations in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, New York and Texas.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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