Fatburgers to Swallow 1950s-Esque Resto Johnny Rockets for $25M

Fatburger’s company is getting even fatter in assets as it is about to gobble up themed resto Johnny Rockets. They are buying the food chain from private equity firm Sun Capital Partners for a price tag of $25 million.

Merger for Burgers

FAT Brands, the parent company of the American burger-centric chain, is acquiring Johnny Rockets. This even amidst the company seeing slides in sales due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. It reported last week a drop in sales of about half for the second quarter. 

Johnny Rockets is known to serve freshly-made, classic burgers and ice cream shakes. They are also popular for its 1950-esque atmosphere among its restaurants. Per the press release, Johnny Rockets is operating in more than 325 locations across the world. This includes nine that they directly own.

The ‘Passing of Torch’

As many are shifting to vegan alternatives, the company is also gearing up its new unit for that market. According to chief exec of FAT Brands, Andy Wiederhorn is set to update the menu for Johnny Rockets, including the addition of plant-based offerings and even vegan milkshakes. The soon-to-be-integrated food joint will also see more changes from its new parent company, as Wiederhorn mentioned they are “eager to take the brand to new heights.”

Prior to the acquisition, their stock was also 25 percent down, per CNN. And then the news of the purchase broke, which doubled their stock on Thursday’s early trading. The deal is expected to be completed by September. 

“FAT Brands is delighted to carry the torch from the affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a global private equity leader with deep investment and operational experience, and run hard,” Wiederhorn stated. 

More Brands for FAT Brands

“Similar to Fatburger, Johnny Rockets got its start in Los Angeles, and we couldn’t be more pleased to add another true staple in our home city to our portfolio. This acquisition is a transformative event for FAT Brands in terms of scale and brand awareness,” Wiederhorn remarked.

Johnny Rockets will be the newest addition to FAT Brands’ line of restaurants, like Elevation Burger, Hurricane Grill & Wings, and the Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses. This latest merger will further expand FAT Brands which already have 700 franchised and company-owned restaurants internationally.

Phillip Malone

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