Arby's Owner Buys Buffalo Wild Wings Chain

Following a year of internal upsets and difficult market conditions, things may be looking up for Buffalo Wild Wings, thanks to Arby's restaurant group. Arby's owner Roark Capital Group announced Tuesday, Nov. 28, it will purchase Buffalo Wild Wings for a whopping $2.4 billion, Reuters reports

Roark paid $157 per share for the wing chain, a full 7 percent higher than the stock's closing price as of Monday, Nov. 27.

Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings

This marks the end of a tough year for the chicken wing giant; the restaurant chain known for their casual dining and was forced to concede three board seats to hedge fund and activist investor Marcato Capital Management, which owns 6.4 percent of the company, a move that led to the resignation of 20-year Chief Executive Sally Smith.

Board and executive shakeups aside, 2017 has been a tough year on chicken wing chains in general, with wholesale prices on bulk wings the highest they've ever been. Buffalo Wild Wings certainly felt the burn -- earlier in the year, the sports bar and casual dining restaurant said its costs rose to historic highs while its earnings plummeted 60 percent, with menu prices staying stagnant, translating to big losses.

Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings

As Reuters reports, Buffalo Wild Wings' purchase by Roark -- which also owns Cinnabon along with stakes in Hardee's and Carl's Jr. -- is just one in a string of high-profile restaurant purchases by huge private equity firms.

October saw NRD Capital buy Ruby Tuesday for about $335 million, and Luxembourg-based JAB Holdings took Panera Bread and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts private since 2015.

Though it will become a unit of Arby's, the good news is that Buffalo Wild Wings will continue to operate as its own, independent brand. So don't expect that roast beef sandwiches will be popping out of b-dubs kitchens anytime soon.

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