Buffalo Wild Wings Shares Soar After Reported $2.3B Takeover Offer
Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings shot up 28 percent in after hours trading on Monday following news that private-equity firm Roark Capital Group offered more than $2.3 billion to buy the Golden Valley-based restaurant chain.
People familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal that an offer of more than $150 per share had been made to Buffalo Wild Wings “in recent weeks,” according to the report. Shares of the restaurant chain, which closed at $117.25 on Monday, were trading above $150 a piece in the evening and early morning hours.
It was the stock’s highest valuation since late May, around the same time Buffalo Wild Wings held its annual shareholder meeting. Leading up to the meeting, activist investor Mick McGuire of Marcato Capital had been leading a proxy war against the restaurant chain’s leadership team, claiming Buffalo Wild Wings shares and sales would grow if it switched to a largely franchisee-operated model. Shareholders ultimately sided with McGuire and awarded him a board seat, while Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith announced her intention to retire before the year's end.
Investment bankers are said to be working with both Roark and Buffalo Wild Wings on the purported deal, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Atlanta-based Roark has been one of the firms at the forefront of recent restaurant consolidation efforts. Earlier this year, it was among those bidding for the Popeyes fried chicken chain. Prior to that, it acquired Jimmy John’s in 2016 and Arby’s in 2011. Roark also has a small ownership stake in Culver’s. Moreover, it owns the Naf Naf chain and CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
However, the firm’s portfolio doesn’t stop at the franchised restaurant industry. It also owns (or partially owns) retail health care and business service companies. Two of its more notable brands—both of which are local—are Anytime Fitness and Waxing the City.
TCB reached out to Buffalo Wild Wings for further comment, but did not hear back by press time.