Featured on nrn By Joanna Fantozzi
Global franchising company FAT Brands — global franchising company and owner of Fatburger, Hurricane Grill & Wings and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses — has completed the acquisition of retro diner brand Johnny Rockets that was first announced in August. The acquisition, which was valued at $25 million, increasing the company’s securitization facility to $80 million. With the acquisition of the company will bring the total number of FAT Brands franchised and company-owned restaurants to 700 internationally, with annual sales of $700 million.
As previously announced, former Johnny rockets CEO George Michel will not be continuing on with the company, and instead FAT Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn will be heading the brand.
“We are thrilled to successfully complete the acquisition of Johnny Rockets, a transformative event for FAT Brands, and are eager to drive further growth for the brand,” Andy Wiederhorn, President and CEO of FAT Brands. “The expansion of our whole business securitization facility further enhances our liquidity and financial flexibility and demonstrates the confidence that institutional investors have in our platform. We continue to scale our business through strategic acquisitions that complement our current brands and are pursuing other attractive opportunities in this environment.”
The company also has plans for Johnny Rockets, including a look at bringing the burger chain back to its ‘50s-themed roots that the brand was originally known for.
“We love the original look of the brand and we think there will be opportunities to bring that back,” Wiederhorn said in an August interview, adding that he thinks that the burger chain should be brought “back to its roots” of banquet booths, servers wearing paper hats, and customers playing jukebox tunes.
This is not the only casual burger chain FAT Brands has acquired recently. In 2019, the company bought Fall Hills, Va.-based Elevation Burger for $10 million.
During the acquisition, Duff & Phelps served as financial advisor to Sun Capital Partners, Inc. and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP acted as legal counsel to Sun Capital Partners, Inc., Loeb & Loeb LLP acted as legal counsel to FAT Brands and Andersen Tax LLC served as tax advisor to FAT Brands Inc.