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What to make of all the M&A activity

Tuesday saw two big mergers and acquisitions, but what does it all mean?


Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.

Today, we’re analyzing what it means that so many mergers and acquisitions are happening with a looming recession.

On Tuesday morning, private equity firm and Modern Market Eatery’s parent company, Butterfly Equity, announced the intent to acquire fast-casual chain Qdoba Mexican Eats for an unspecified amount of money. The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, will merge Modern Restaurant Concepts — which encompasses Modern Market Eatery and Lemonade — and Qdoba into one fast-casual restaurant platform, though all three will continue to operate separate brands.

Then, just a few hours later, MTY Food Group, parent to Papa Murphy’s, acquired Famous Dave’s parent BBQ Holdings. The deal was priced at $17.25 a share, or about $200 million. BBQ Holdings, also parent to Village Inn, Barrio Queen, Granite City and other restaurants, operates over 200 franchised locations and 100 corporate-owned stores. BBQ Holdings acquired Barrio Queen earlier this year.

This comes two weeks after the purchase of Bellagreen by Au Bon Pain’s parent Ampex Brands, which was allegedly a long time in the works.

What does all this mean with a looming recession ahead? NRN’s editorial director Sam Oches weighs in.

Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.

Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on CastosSpotify, or Apple Podcasts

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