Written by Associated Press
(AP) — Arby’s said Tuesday that it is buying Buffalo Wild Wings for about $2.4 billion, making it the latest casual restaurant chain to be taken private.
Buffalo Wild Wings, which serves chicken wings in a sports bar-like atmosphere, has reported falling sales as it and other casual restaurants lose customers to cheaper and faster chains. In the most recent quarter, it reported a 2.3 percent sales drop at its established restaurants.
Last month, struggling sit-down chain Ruby Tuesday Inc. agreed to be sold for $146 million and taken private.
Atlanta-based Arby’s, known of its meaty sandwiches, said Buffalo Wild Wings will operate as an independent brand. Arby’s is majority owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Group, which also has investments in other chains, including Hardee’s.
Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. said it would pay $157 for each share of Buffalo Wild Wings, a 7 percent premium to its Monday closing price of $146.40. The companies value the transaction at $2.9 billion, when debt is included.
The deal is expected to close during the first few months of 2018. It still needs the approval of Buffalo Wild Wings shareholders.
Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., which is based in Minneapolis, rose $9.20, or 6.3 percent, to $155.65 in afternoon trading Tuesday.