Golden Gate Capital will sell Romano’s Macaroni Grill to Ignite Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:IRG) in an all cash deal valued at $55 million. News of the deal sent Ignite shares surging more than 2% in Friday morning trading.
Ignite, which operates 129 Joe’s Crab Shack and 15 Brick House Tavern+Tap restaurants said on Wednesday that it would finance the acqusition with $50 million raised through existing lending agreements, Restaurant News noted.
The sale includes Brinker International‘s (NYSE:EAT) minority share in Romano’s. The casual-dining Italian food chain was founded in 1988, but was subsequently purchased by Brinker, which sold it to Golden Gate in 2008.
Romano’s has 210 restaurants. Last year, it generated revenue of $385 million. With Romano’s, Ignite will approach $1 billion in annual revenue.
Ignite officials said the acquisition would give them a new range of options in real estate conversions. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.