Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. and Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. announced last week that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which ARG will acquire BWLD for $157 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at approximately $2.9 billion, including BWW’s net debt.
The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors, represents a premium of approximately 38% to BWW’s 30-day volume-weighted average stock price as of November 13, 2017, the latest trading day prior to news reports speculating about a potential transaction.
Reacting quickly to the news, Chris O'Cull at Stifel said that on the whole "Arby's/Roark should be good for the BWW chain" and added that "we believe Roark can create value from the investment by improving the sales at existing company units and achieving greater scale combined with the Arby's system, which should help reduce operating costs."
Statement by Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc.
"Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the most distinctive and successful entertainment and casual dining restaurant companies in America,” said Paul Brown, CEO of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. “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.”
Statement by Sally Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc.
“We are excited about this merger and confident Arby’s represents an excellent partner for Buffalo Wild Wings,” said Sally Smith, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings. “This transaction provides compelling value to our shareholders and is a testament to the hard work and efforts of our talented Team Members and franchisees. We are confident that the strength of our two industry-leading brands, under the sponsorship of Roark Capital – an experienced restaurant and food service investor – will enable us to capitalize on significant growth opportunities in the years ahead.”
The transaction is not subject to a financing condition and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018, subject to the approval of BWW shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.
Following the close of the transaction, BWW will be a privately-held subsidiary of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. and will continue to be operated as an independent brand. Paul Brown will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the parent company.
Arby’s is majority owned by affiliates of Roark Capital Group (Roark), an Atlanta based private equity firm that focuses on investing in franchised and multi-unit businesses in the restaurant, retail and other consumer sectors. Affiliates of Roark are committing all of the equity that, together with the proceeds of debt financing, will be necessary to complete the transaction.
Certain funds advised by Marcato Capital Management, LP, which own approximately 6.4% of the outstanding shares of BWW, have entered into an agreement to vote in favor of the transaction.
Barclays is serving as financial advisor and White & Case LLP is serving as legal counsel to ARG. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP is serving as legal counsel to BWW.