OPES Acquisition Corpand BurgerFi International have completed their previously announced business combination. As a result of the business combination, OPES changed its name to BurgerFi International, Inc. and its common stock will commence trading this morning on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker symbol “BFI” and the warrants will trade under the ticker symbol “BFIIW.”
“We believe that combining OPES with BurgerFi will expand the better burger brand’s growth nationally and internationally to reach new heights and create significant stockholder value,” says Ophir Sternberg, newly appointed Executive Chairman of BurgerFi. “As I step into my new role, there will be an important focus on taking advantage of the current real estate market to seek growth opportunities, as there is an abundance of prime retail locations with leases on very favorable terms. We will also continue our industry-leading technology development, enhancing user experience and increasing sales through our various online ordering channels.”
Established almost a decade ago, BurgerFi has nearly 125 restaurants domestically and internationally, with plans to continue expanding. The concept was chef-founded and is renowned for delivering an exceptional, all-natural premium burger experience in contemporary and sustainably designed restaurants. BurgerFi uses 100 percent all-natural American Angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. The brand’s diverse menu offerings have broad appeal and emphasize the use of high quality, responsibly sourced ingredients in each recipe. In addition to Angus and Wagyu beef burgers and hot dogs, guest favorites include the award-winning VegeFi burger, all-natural cage-free “Fi’ed” chicken sandwiches and tenders, and fresh-cut fries made with just potatoes and salt.
“Becoming a publicly traded company is the first of many important milestones we envision for BurgerFi, as our opportunities to evolve and develop are seemingly limitless,” says Julio Ramirez, CEO of BurgerFi. “With our leading position as the preferred better burger restaurant in four out of five southern states, we will continue working our way up the eastern seaboard to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Our corporate and franchise restaurant growth strategy will cluster in markets we’ve identified as strategically important, such as Atlanta, Nashville and Richmond.”
“It’s extremely fitting that BurgerFi is going public on the cusp of our 10-year anniversary,” adds Charlie Guzzetta, president of BurgerFi. “It’s a dream that has become reality thanks to the tireless dedication of the team members, franchise partners, and founders that make up the BurgerFi family. We are proud of the strong foundation we’ve built and look forward to the brand’s continued success and growth in this exciting new phase.”
BurgerFi will continue to be led by its existing management team: Julio Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer; Charlie Guzzetta, president; Bryan McGuire, Chief Financial Officer, Nick Raucci, Chief Operating Officer; Ross Goldstein, Chief Legal Officer; and Chef Paul Griffin, Chief Culinary Officer.
The board of directors for BurgerFi includes notable members such as Steve Berrard, Co-Founder of AutoNation, and is led by Executive Chairman Ophir Sternberg, Founder and CEO of Lionheart Capital and Chairman and CEO of Lionheart Acquisition Corp. II.
To celebrate the business combination completion, BurgerFi will be ringing the Nasdaq opening bell today, December 17 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.
EarlyBirdCapital, Inc. served as exclusive financial and capital market advisor to OPES. Loeb & Loeb LLP served as legal counsel to OPES. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP is acting as legal counsel to BurgerFi International.