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Fat Brands to acquire Native Grill and Wings for $20M

Arizona-based chicken wing concept will add $3M to Fat Brands’ 2022 normalized EBITDA

Fat Brands will acquire Native Grill & Wings for $20M in cash under an agreement with Cybeck Capital Partners’ subsidiary Wingtime, LLC. The parent of Johnny Rockets, Elevation Burger and 13 other restaurant brands will raise the cash through the issuance of new notes derived from the securitization facilities it has available.

The Arizona-based chicken wing concept will give Fat Brands 2,300 franchised and company stores in its portfolio, with annual system sales of about $2.3B. The franchisor’s normalized, post-pandemic EBITDA will increase by approximately $3M in 2022, it estimated.

Native has an engaged following and offers over 20 wing flavors that guests can order by the individual wing, with a complementary menu of pizza, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The sports grill has 23 franchised restaurants throughout Arizona, Illinois, and Texas.

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The purchase of Native Grill & Wings follows a deal Fat Brands made to acquire Italian fast-casual chain Fazoli’s for $130M. The transaction is the fourth acquisition this year by Fat Brands, which also included sports bar chain Twin Peaks, in October, and multi-brand franchisor Global Franchising Group, in July.

“With the chicken wing sector growing in popularity throughout the pandemic, we knew that we wanted to continue developing our portfolio further into this category by bringing in a brand that would complement our existing wing concepts,” said Andy Wiederhorn, chief executive of Fat Brands. “Native Grill & Wings has been on our radar for some time given its ability to remain nimble and deliver strong system-wide sales growth over the past year. We’re pleased to build off the success established by Dan Chaon, Native brand CEO, and Cybeck Capital Partners, LLC, and we look forward to expanding Native Grill & Wings’ presence into new markets.”

For Fat Brands Foley & Lardner LLP acted as legal counsel for Fat Brands. For Wing Time, LLC Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP provided legal counsel related to the transaction.

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Joe O’Hara, managing partner of Cybeck Capital Partners, LLC, commented, “The Native Grill & Wings system is poised for a breakout to the next level, and Fat Brands has the resources and experience that can take it there. We are pleased to pass the baton to FAT Brands for the benefit of the system.”

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