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    FAT Brands Completes Deal for Yalla Mediterranean

  • The health-forward brand joins the company's growing portfolio.

    Yalla Mediterranean
    Yalla Mediterranean was founded in 2014.

    FAT Brands Inc. announced Tuesday morning that it has completed the acquisition of Yalla Mediterranean, a Los Angeles-based chain. The deal expands FAT Brands portfolio to more than 300 restaurants worldwide with annual system-wide sales north of $300 million. The company said in a release it has an additional 300-plus restaurants under development in 32 countries.

    Yalla Mediterranean, founded in 2014, is known for its environmentally friendly operations and health-forward cuisine. It features farm-friendly, GMO-free, local ingredients and a menu that includes vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options. Yalla also uses trays made from compostable materials. Each of its seven locations across California pour craft beer and wine from taps.

    “Yalla Mediterranean's commitment to authentic, healthy and responsibly-sourced products aligns strongly with FAT Brands' commitment to providing guests with high-quality, made-to-order meals,” said Andy Wiederhorn, president and CEO of FAT Brands, in a statement. “By bringing Yalla Mediterranean into the FAT Brands family, we'll be able to help the brand grow its footprint in its existing markets and expand to new markets through our extensive network of franchise partners.”

    Yalla is currently located in Pleasant Hill, Fremont, Walnut Creek, and Dublin in California’s Bay Area as well as Burbank, Seal Beach, and Culver City in Southern California.

    In July, FAT Brands completed a previously announced acquisition of Hurricane Grill & Wings for $12.5 million. Terms of the Yalla deal were not disclosed.

    The Hurricane acquisition, which brought more than 50 units into the company’s footprint, included $8 million in cash and $4.5 million in preferred stock.

    “The integration of the Hurricane restaurants onto our platform has been smooth, and we now expect to achieve an annualized revenue run-rate of $19-20 million and an annualized EBITDA run-rate of $10-11 million, inclusive of synergies beginning in the fourth quarter of 2018,” Wiederhorn said in August.

    FAT Brands’ portfolio also includes Fatburger, Buffalo’s Café, Buffalo’s Express and Ponderosa and Bonanza steakhouses.

    The company, which stands for “fresh, authentic, and tasty,” completed a $24 million Regulation A+ initial public offering in October. It raised $24 million under fresh rules that allow small companies to fund investor growth in a mini IPO. The Hurricane deal was the first acquisition since that IPO.

    The company was formed as a Delaware corporation on March 21, 2017 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc. It was created to complete a public offering and related transactions, and to acquire and continue certain businesses previously conducted by subsidiaries of FCCG, FAT Brands said.

    FAT Brands completed the acquisition of Homestyle Dining LLC, the parent company to the Ponderosa Steakhouse and Bonanza Steakhouse brands, for $10.5 million in November 2017. Wiederhorn said the company is committed to asset-light growth “through a combination of accretive acquisitions of franchise brands and organic new store growth of existing brands.”

    FAT Brands reported total revenues of $3.9 million in the second quarter and net income of $373,000.

    Systemwide same-store sales lifted 9.5 percent at Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express in the quarter. Comps grew 10.2 percent at Buffalo’s Café and 0.9 percent at Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouse.

    On April 27, FAT Brands established a $5 million credit facility with TCA Global Credit Master Fund, LP. A total of $2 million was funded by TCA as part of the initial closing on April 27, and the proceeds were used for working capital.

    On June 7, the company completed $8 million in Series A preferred stock financing. The proceeds are being used for acquisition of new restaurant brands, the repayment of indebtedness, and working capital.