Yum Brands to Buy Habit Burger Grill

The KFC and Taco Bell owner is moving into fast-casual with its acquisition of the burger chain’s parent company.
Lauren MuskettJanuary 6, 2020

Yum Brands has agreed to acquire The Habit Restaurants, parent company of Habit Burger Grill, for $14 per share, or about $375 million, the companies said.

Yum is the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. This would be the first fast-casual chain in its portfolio and the first deal since David Gibbs took over as chief executive officer.

Gibbs was named to succeed Greg Creed as CEO in August. He began officially in the new role January 1.

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“We’ve emerged from our three-year transformation stronger and in a better position to accelerate the growth of our existing brands and leverage our scale to unlock value from strategic acquisitions,” Gibbs said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, The Habit Burger Grill will continue to be run by its president and CEO Russell Bendel, Ira Fils will continue as CFO, and the company will keep its headquarters in Irvine, California. Bendel will report directly to David Gibbs.

Yum said it expected the deal would have minimal impact on adjusted earnings per share in 2020 and would be accretive in 2021. It expects to fund the transaction using cash on hand and available borrowing capacity under its credit facilities.

In a note, Wells Fargo analysts said the deal gave Yum, “a new growth engine for the company and franchisees across domestic and international markets with relatively low menu overlap today versus the existing portfolio. At first blush, we would view this deal as a positive for YUM.”

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Shares of Habit Restaurants were up more than 32% on the news. Yum Brands shares were down less than 1%.

Yum shares are up more than 11% in the past year.