Arby’s buying Buffalo Wild Wings in $2.9 billion deal

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Arby’s will buy Buffalo Wild Wings in a deal worth $2.9 billion.

The fast-food chain will acquire the casual dining chain known for “wings, beer, sports” for $157 per share and take on Buffalo Wild Wings’ debt. Both companies’ boards of directors unanimously approved the deal, which has been rumored for weeks.

“Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the most distinctive and successful entertainment and casual dining restaurant companies in America,” Arby’s CEO Paul Brown said in a statement.

“We are excited to welcome a brand with such a rich heritage, led by an exceptionally talented team. We look forward to leveraging the combined strengths of both organizations into a truly differentiated and transformative multi-brand restaurant company,” Brown said.

Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith said Arby’s represents an “excellent partner” for the brand.

“We are confident that the strength of our two industry-leading brands, under the sponsorship of Roark Capital – an experienced restaurant and food service investor – will enable us to capitalize on significant growth opportunities in the years ahead,” Smith said.

The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018 and is subject to approval of BWW shareholders and regulatory approvals. Once the deal is completed, BWW will be a privately held subsidiary of Arby’s Restaurant Group.

The deal has the backing of Roark Capital Group, the majority owner of Arby’s, and Marcato Capital Management, a major investor in BWW.

Arby’s has more than 3,300 restaurants in seven countries and bills itself as the second-largest sandwich restaurant brand in the world. Buffalo Wild Wings has more than 1,250 locations in 10 countries.