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FAT Brands Beefs Up Its Portfolio with Smokey Bones Deal

Multiconcept operator FAT Brands has acquired Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill from an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners for $30 million. Smokey Bones, which has 61 corporate units, becomes FAT Brands’ first barbecue concept.

“Having a strong player in the barbecue space provides another arrow in our quiver for the polished dining segment and opens the door for additional growth strategies for our sister brands,” says Andy Wiederhorn, chairman and founder of FAT Brands in a statement.

In recent years, Smokey Bones continued to evolve its go-to-market approach by adding a drive-thru lane at one of its fast-casual locations and working in the ghost kitchen and virtual brands spaces. Earlier this year, Smokey Bones updated its leadership team by promoting Hal Lawlor to president and CEO from COO.

This deal is the latest in a spate of restaurant chain-related acquisitions in recent months. For example, in August Roark Capital acquired Subway and Bain Capital Private Equity inked a deal to acquire Fogo de Chão from Rhône Capital. Also in August, Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company of Pollo Tropical, agreed to sell to Authentic Restaurant Brands for $220 million. And in May, multiconcept operator Darden Restaurants reached a deal to acquire Ruth’s Hospitality Group, which is the parent company of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

FAT Brands owns 17 restaurant chains, including Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, Fazoli’s, Twin Peaks, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Elevation Burger, Native Grill & Wings and the Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses. The company franchises and owns more than 2,300 units worldwide, per a company release.