lOS ANGELES — FAT (Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands announced plans to acquire the Johnny Rockets fast-casual burger chain from an affiliate of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc. for $25 million. FAT Brands is a global franchising company that acquires, markets and develops fast-casual and casual dining restaurant concepts around the world.
Johnny Rockets was founded in 1986 with its first location on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The chain serves classic burgers and indulgent, hand-spun ice cream shakes in restaurants known for 1950s diner style décor. Johnny Rockets currently has more than 325 locations across the United States and internationally, including nine company owned locations.
FAT Brands will fund the transaction through cash on hand and proceeds generated from the company’s securitization facility. The company expects to complete the purchase in September. The acquisition of Johnny Rockets to the FAT Brands portfolio of companies will add more than 700 franchised and company owned restaurants around the globe with annual system-wide sales exceeding $700 million. FAT Brands currently owns eight restaurant brands: Fatburger, Buffalo’s Cafe, Buffalo’s Express, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Elevation Burger, Yalla Mediterranean and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses, and franchises more than 375 units worldwide.
“FAT Brands is delighted to carry the torch from the affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a global private equity leader with deep investment and operational experience, and run hard,” said Andy Wiederhorn, president and chief executive officer of FAT Brands. “Similar to Fatburger, Johnny Rockets got its start in Los Angeles, and we couldn’t be more pleased to add another true staple in our home city to our portfolio. This acquisition is a transformative event for FAT Brands in terms of scale and brand awareness. We see a lot of synergy with Johnny Rockets and our current restaurant concepts and we are eager to take the brand to new heights.”