Publicly traded Landcadia Holdings Inc., which acquired Waitr in May for $308 million, announced late Thursday it has set a special shareholder meeting for later this month to combine the two companies.
Landcadia, which is owned by Texas billionaire and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, said it filed a proxy statement for the Nov. 15 special meeting for shareholders to approve the merger and establish Waitr as a publicly traded company.
After the shareholder vote on Nov. 16, the company will be renamed Waitr Holdings Inc. and will trade under the stock ticker symbol WTRH. Waitr will then become a subsidiary of the combined company.
"We’ll be a public company," Waitr CEO and founder Chris Meaux said. "We’ll have somewhere around $200 million on our balance sheet to invest in additional growth to continue to help our restaurants grow their business and continue to do it in more markets than we are today. It gives us the capital we need to expand."
When Fertitta's company acquired Waitr in May, the agreement called for Landcadia to buy Waitr for a minimum of $50 million in cash and the company be renamed Waitr Holdings and trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Meaux would continue in his role with the new company and serve as chairman of the board of directors.
The company, which employs about 8,000 drivers and about 400 in its corporate offices in Lafayette, Lake Charles and other markets it serves, will continue its presence in Louisiana.
"We’re going to remain here as our home, and current management will continue to run the company," Meaux said. "We’ve been working really closely with (Landcadia) to get the transaction completed over the last six months, and they’ve been amazing to work with. Tilman has been easy to talk to, and his team has been unbelievable to get this transaction to completion."
Waitr recently announced it would now offer its services in New Iberia; Athens, Georgia; Auburn, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; and several other cities. It is now in 230 cities in the Southeast with 6,200 restaurant partners.