What prompted BurgerFi to shell out over $ 161 million to purchase 61 units of Anthony’s & Wings charcoal pizza?
It wasn’t necessarily the casual dining concept owned by L Catterton himself, executives revealed Tuesday, a day after the deal was announced. On the contrary, BurgerFi intends to focus on growing a half-size, relaxed version of Anthony, executives explained on a call with analysts.
Currently, there is only one 1,700 square foot unit in Springfield, PA. Two to three new Anthony’s quick and casual restaurants are slated to open in Florida next year, said chief financial officer Michael Rabinovitch. Prototypes serve Anthony’s full menu, with a slightly smaller kitchen, less seating, no full bar, and a greater focus on offsite activities.
Anthony’s space-saving location costs about $ 600,000 to build, or half that of the chain’s traditional restaurants, executives said.
Anthony’s also has an “exciting new virtual concept” called The Roasted Wing which launched last November, Rabinovitch noted. The concept sells roasted chicken wings and garlic knots and will be offered at 177 BurgerFi and Anthony’s locations system-wide.
“We are very excited about this transaction,” Ian Baines, who will become CEO of BurgerFi when the transaction closes, told analysts. “As a combined company, we plan to seize a unique opportunity to improve scale, increase diversification, increase Combined EBITDA and use a significant amount of cash flow to fund growth and future development. “
Fast-casual BurgerFi, based in Palm Beach, Fla., Also said it expects a lot of synergies as a result of Anthony’s deal.
Anthony’s fits well with BurgerFi as it offers a streamlined 25-course menu, four-minute cooking times, organizational capabilities that can be shared between brands, and high-level restaurant-level execution, noted the leaders.
The company intends to monitor the performance of the Anthony’s fast-casual concept to see whether it needs to be developed in-house or through the franchise.
Shareholder approval is not required for the transaction as the number of common shares in any case will be less than 20%, BurgerFi executives noted.
The deal also helps BurgerFi align with L Catterton, a potential windfall as it seeks to add more brands to its fold. Upon closing of the transaction, L Catterton will become one of BurgerFi’s major shareholders.
The Anthony acquisition comes less than a year after the best burger brand went public after being bought by Opes Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
Anthony’s was founded in 2002 and specializes in quick cooking pizzas cooked in a charcoal oven at 900 degrees.
Ophir Sternberg, executive chairman of BurgerFi, on Tuesday called the deal the “first merger and acquisition transaction” of BurgerFi, hinting at plans to acquire more channels in the future.