(Bloomberg) -- FAT Brands Inc., owner of the Johnny Rockets burger franchise, has agreed to buy restaurant chain Smokey Bones from private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc.
The deal values the Florida-based barbecue chain at about $30 million, FAT Brands founder and chairman Andrew Wiederhorn said in an interview. FAT Brands will add 61 Smokey Bones locations in 16 states to its list of 17 brands, he said.
Wiederhorn said the company has wanted for a long time to “be in the barbecue space” and looked to add Smoky Bones to its polished casual dining segment because of its geographic spread. The deal is expected to add about $10 million of annual adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to the business, Wiederhorn said.
Smokey Bones is a full-service sports bar and fire grill that features a “sweeping central bar” and a variety of meats that are slow-smoked, according to the chain’s website. Sun Capital in 2007 agreed to buy the chain from Darden Restaurants Inc. for $80 million.
Based in Beverly Hills, California, FAT Brands, has been expanding its national and international presence, adding 362 stores to its development pipeline last year, according to a February statement. System-wide sales of its franchised and owned locations during fiscal 2022 totaled about $2.2 billion, according to the company’s annual report. That was double the previous year.
FAT Brands has more than 2,300 eateries around the world, according to its website. FAT Brands acquired Italian restaurant chain Fazoli’s in 2021 for $130 million and sports restaurant company Twin Peaks for $300 million the same year.
“We’re just being thoughtful about what’s strategic for us, we don’t really need to buy incremental brands, unless there’s a strategic reason,” Wiederhorn said of previous acquisitions.
FAT Brands plans to open as many as 175 new stores this year. “We’ll hit that same number next year,” Wiederhorn said.
“We’re seeing our franchise system very healthy,” he said. “We’re seeing new and existing franchisees continuing to buy more stores, more territories, more locations, more brands.”
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.