FAT Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn said earlier in May the company would follow one of the busiest M&A years on record by using 2022 to “digest those acquisitions while capitalizing on the synergies they present.”
But that hardly meant FAT Brands expected to sit idle. On Wednesday, the company struck another deal, scooping up Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip from Crest Foods, Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The company said it will rebrand the locations to Great American Cookies, a move that will “increase FAT Brands’ foothold as a leader in the dessert category within the cookie and ice cream spaces.” It also owns Marble Slab Creamery.
Crest Foods currently franchises about 85 Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip units nationwide. The deal adds to FAT Brands’ Atlanta-based manufacturing facility, providing supply chain efficiencies and cost-savings, as well as increasing the scale that will result from increased manufacturing volume, the company said.
“In 2022 we are focused heavily on our deep organic growth pipeline, but we saw great value in making this accretive acquisition,” Andy Wiederhorn said in a statement. “These stores will fold seamlessly into our Quick-Service Division and provide us the opportunity to increase the capacity of our manufacturing business, a key growth objective.”
“To date, acquisitions have been a strong growth vehicle for FAT Brands, and we anticipate the combination of our production and distribution facility and scale to increase the profitability of the franchisees that are joining us in this acquisition,” he added.
FAT Brands completed four acquisitions in 2021 and added eight restaurant brands. It began the year by purchasing Global Franchise Group for $442.5 million, bringing in Round Table Pizza, Marble Slab Creamery, Great American Cookies, Pretzelmaker, and Hot Dog on a Stick. The company then acquired Twin Peaks for $300 million, Fazoli’s for $130 million, and Native Grill & Wings for $20 million.
Overall, FAT Brands spent almost $900 million in less than six months and grew to 17 concepts, 2,300 franchised and company-run locations globally, and systemwide sales of roughly $2.3 billion.
As of May, FAT Brands opened 34 restaurants year to date, including 27 during Q1 2022. Wiederhorn told investors the company had a unit development pipeline of more than 860 locations. It expects to open 120 new stores in 2022 (not including Wednesday’s deal).
Q1 marked the first period all of FAT Brand’s prior-year acquisition activity reflected in financial reports. In turn, revenues rose by 1,365 percent and adjusted EBITDA increased $14 million over Q1 2021. Same-store sales, which includes brands owned for all of fiscal 2021, increased 16.8 percent.
System-wide sales, naturally, rocketed up alongside the company’s expansion—up 341 percent in Q1, year-over-year. FAT Brands swung a net loss of $23.8 million or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to $2.4 million or 20 cents per diluted share this time last year.
Costs and expenses increased to $96.9 million in Q1 compared to $6.6 million.