According to USAToday.com and CNNMoney, Arby's Restaurant Group has offered to purchase Buffalo Wild Wings for $157 per share, a 7% premium based on Nov. 27's closing price, or $2.4 billion in cash. The sandwich chain is also willing to take on Buffalo Wild Wings' debt. The deal will take Buffalo Wild Wings private. The chain will become a unit of Arby’s but will continue to operate as an independent brand. Arby's is owned by private equity firm Roark Capital, which also has large stakes in Auntie Anne's, Carvel and Jimmy John's.
"Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the most distinctive and successful entertainment and casual dining restaurant companies in America,” Arby's CEO Paul Brown said in a statement. “We are excited to welcome a brand with such a rich heritage, led by an exceptionally talented team. We look forward to leveraging the combined strengths of both organizations into a truly differentiated and transformative multi-brand restaurant company.”
This is just the latest in a series of restaurant takeovers by private equity firms and/or restaurant mergers. Recently, Ruby Tuesday was bought by NRD Capital, JAB Holdings purchased Panera Bread and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (with Panera just announcing the purchase of Au Bon Pain), Burger King parent Restaurant Brands purchased Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen earlier this year, and Olive Garden owner Darden (DRI) bought Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.