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One-Group-STK-Las-Vegas.jpg Alicia Kelso
One Group Hospitality Inc. has agreed to acquire Safflower Holdings Corp., owner of the Benihana and RA Sushi concepts, in a $365 million deal. This is the STK unit in Las Vegas, Nev.

One Group to acquire Benihana, RA Sushi parent in $365M deal

Owner of STK and Kona Grill agrees to buy Safflower Holdings in transaction expected by end of Q2

One Group Hospitality Inc., owner of the STK and Kona Grill concepts, will acquire Safflower Holdings Corp, the parent to the Benihana teppanyaki brand and RA Sushi, in a $365 million deal, the company said Tuesday.

Denver-based One Group said the deal would be financed with $160 million in preferred equity and part of a new $390 million term loan and credit facility. The preferred equity will be primarily issued to Hill Path Capital, the company said.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, giving One Group a total of 168 full-service venues, the company said.

One Group, in its fourth quarter earnings call in mid-March, also said it is planning a new seafood restaurant called Saltwater Social in Denver.

Benihana, founded in 1964, has 88 company-owned restaurants and franchises or licenses another 17 locations in the Americas.

Once closed, One Group said in a press release, the acquisition is expected to add about $575 million in annualized systemwide revenue and about $70 million in annual run-rate earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization. The company said synergy savings could be $20 million a year.

“We are delighted to welcome Benihana, an American cultural icon with timeless appeal that transcends generations and offers unparalleled guest experiences, to the One Group family,” said Emanuel “Manny” Hilario, One Group president and CEO, said in a statement

 “The strategic acquisition of a one-of-a-kind restaurant platform with a compelling financial profile supports our broader strategy to fortify and diversify our leading portfolio of best-in-class experiential vibe restaurant concepts,” Hilario said.

One Group owns 28 STK restaurants in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East and 27 Kona Grill restaurants in the United States. One Hospitality, the One Group’s food and beverage hospitality services business, develops, manages, and operates restaurants and turnkey food and beverage services within high-end hotels and casinos, currently operating eight venues in the U.S. and Europe.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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