M&A

FAT Brands to Buy Johnny Rockets

When the deal closes, it will have more than 700 restaurants worldwide with annual system-wide sales exceeding $700 million.
Lauren MuskettAugust 13, 2020
FAT Brands to Buy Johnny Rockets

FAT Brands, the owner of Fatburger, has reached a deal to buy Johnny Rockets for about $25 million from its private equity firm owner Sun Capital Partners.

“This acquisition is a transformative event for FAT Brands in terms of scale and brand awareness,” FAT Brands chief executive officer Andy Wiederhorn said in a statement. “We see a lot of synergy with Johnny Rockets and our current restaurant concepts and we are eager to take the brand to new heights.”

FAT Brands is funding the deal with cash on hand and proceeds from its securitization facility. When the deal closes, it will have more than 700 restaurants worldwide with annual system-wide sales exceeding $700 million.

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The announcement of the deal comes as many fast-food restaurants have seen a sharp increase in demand amid COVID-19 lockdown orders.

FAT Brands reported a loss of $4.25 million or 36 cents per share for the second quarter, down from a loss of $508,000 a year ago. The company said its revenue fell to $3.1 million for the second quarter, down from $5.9 million a year ago, saying the decline, “overwhelmingly reflects a decline in royalty revenue related to the impact of COVID-19.”

FAT Brands acquired the fast-casual franchise Elevation Burger last June for $10 million.

“Similar to Fatburger, Johnny Rockets got its start in Los Angeles, and we couldn’t be more pleased to add another true staple in our home city to our portfolio,” Wiederhorn said.

Wiederhorn said FAT Brands plans to add plant-based items and vegan milkshakes to modernize Johnny Rockets’ menu.

FAT Brands shares jumped 236% in premarket trading Thursday. They were up more than 115% at midday.

The deal is expected to close in September.

George Rose/Getty Images

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