LOUISVILLE, KY. — Yum! Brands, Inc. has agreed to acquire The Habit Restaurants, Inc., parent company of fast-casual restaurant chain The Habit Burger Grill, for approximately $375 million in a cash transaction. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2020 and remains subject to stockholder and regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
Founded in 1969, The Habit Burger Grill operates nearly 300 company-owned and franchised restaurants across the United States and in China. Menu items include charburgers, chargrilled chicken sandwiches and ahi tuna sandwiches, salads and frozen desserts. Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, has more than 49,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries and territories.
“We’ve emerged from our three-year transformation stronger and in a better position to accelerate the growth of our existing brands and leverage our scale to unlock value from strategic acquisitions,” said David W. Gibbs, chief executive officer of Yum! Brands. “As a fast-casual concept with strong unit economics, The Habit Burger Grill is a fantastic addition to the Yum! family and has significant untapped growth potential in the U.S. and internationally. With its delicious burgers and fresh proteins chargrilled over an open flame, The Habit Burger Grill offers consumers a diverse, California-style menu with premium ingredients at a Q.S.R.-like value. The transaction is a win-win because it allows us to offer an exciting new investment to our franchisees and to expand an award-winning, trend-forward brand through the power of Yum!’s unmatched scale and strengths in franchising, purchasing and brand-building.”
Upon completion of the transaction, The Habit Burger Grill will remain in Irvine, Calif., and will continue to be managed by Russell Bendel, president and c.e.o., and Ira Fils, chief financial officer. Mr. Bendel will report directly to Mr. Gibbs.
“Over the past few years, we’ve focused on becoming a total access brand by growing our delivery business, expanding our online ordering and mobile channels and enhancing the in-store experience by introducing drive-thrus, kiosks and technology-centric solutions for operations,” Mr. Bendel said. “We’re proud these and other actions have made The Habit Burger Grill an attractive candidate for a transaction of this kind.
“On behalf of The Habit Burger Grill board of directors, this transaction represents an exciting new chapter to strengthen and significantly grow The Habit Burger Grill by leveraging Yum! Brands’ global scale, resources and franchising capabilities. We’re confident the agreement delivers immediate value to The Habit Burger Grill shareholders and will greatly benefit our beloved brand, team members, franchisees and loyal guests for many years to come.”