Food Management Partners, or FMP, has acquired Ovation Brands Inc., which owns five buffet brands and the casual-dining Tahoe Joes Famous Steakhouse, the company said Thursday.
With the acquisition of Greer, S.C.-based Ovation Brands’ Ryan’s, Fire Mountain, Country Buffet, Old Country Buffet and Hometown Buffet concepts, San Antonio-based FMP’s portfolio has grown to 500 restaurants and more than $1 billion in annual sales, FMP said.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ovation Brands has more than 300 restaurants in 35 states.
“The buffet business is one with which we are very familiar, and the chance to acquire a category leader does not come along often,” Peter Donbavand, FMP vice president of business development, said in a statement.
In April, FMP acquired Carlsbad, Calif.-based Catalina Restaurant Group, parent to the family-dining Coco’s Bakery Restaurants and Carrows Restaurants. FMP immediately shuttered more than half of the company’s 149 restaurants, citing poor performance.
Privately held FMP’s other concepts include Don Pablo’s, Furr’s Fresh Buffet and its Dynamic Foods subsidiary, and Zio’s Italian Kitchen. At one time, FMP operated franchised Buffalo Wild Wings and Little Caesars locations, but it has divested those.
FMP said its Ovation Brands acquisition also includes a millwork and manufacturing facility in Minnesota.
“Along with our Dynamic Foods manufacturing and distribution subsidiary, the millwork facility brings additional vertical integration capabilities to all of our concepts,” Donbavand said.
Earlier this year, three years after emerging from its second bankruptcy, Ovation Brands hired financial advisors to evaluate a sale of the 328-unit company.
In the most recent Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 100 census of companies, Ovation Brands/Buffets Restaurants Holdings Inc. ranked No. 49 for the Latest Year, with a company-estimated $751 million in U.S. foodservice sales for the June-ended 2015 fiscal year. That estimate was down 5.9 percent from the Preceding Year, when the company reported $797.8 million in U.S. foodservice sales for the June-ended 2014 fiscal year.
Ovation Brands, which was renamed in 2012 from Buffets Inc., has seen several bankruptcy proceedings in the past several years.
Ovation Brands' roots date to 2006, with the merger of Buffets Inc. and Ryan’s Restaurant Group, which created a 675-unit buffet company that carried a high percentage of debt.
The company filed for bankruptcy the first time in 2008. It emerged in 2009, but filed for bankruptcy again in 2012, with nearly 500 restaurants. The company closed 140 locations during its second bankruptcy.
Updated: Aug. 20, 2015 The story has been updated with NRN Top 100 company foodservice sales data.