Arby's said Tuesday that it is buying Buffalo Wild Wings for about $2.4 billion, making it the latest casual restaurant chain to be taken private.
Arby's has 21 locations in Louisiana, while Buffalo Wild Wings has 17, their websites show.
Buffalo Wild Wings, which serves chicken wings in a sports bar-like atmosphere, has reported falling sales as it and other casual restaurants lose customers to cheaper and faster chains. In the most recent quarter, it reported a 2.3 percent sales drop at its established restaurants.
Other chains that have been taken private this year include Panera Bread, which was bought in July for more than $7 billion by JAB Holding Co., and sit-down chain Ruby Tuesday Inc., which agreed last month to be sold to private-equity firm NRD Capital for $146 million.
Atlanta-based Arby's, known for its meaty sandwiches, said Buffalo Wild Wings will operate as an independent brand. Arby's is majority owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Group, which also has investments in other chains, including Hardee's, Auntie Anne’s, Carl’s Jr., Cinnabon, Jimmy John’s, Naf Naf Grill, Schlotzsky’s, Wingstop and Culver’s.
Buffalo Wild Wings has two locations each in Baton Rouge and Lafayette and one each in Gonzales, Hammond, Algiers, Metairie, Elmwood, Slidell, Covington, Houma, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport, Bossier City and West Monroe.
Arby's has one location each in Denham Springs, Port Allen, Hammond, Lafayette, Breaux Bridge, Houma, Mandeville, Metairie, Bossier City, Greenwood, Haughton, Iowa, Leesville, Minden, Monroe, Pineville, Richmond, Ruston, Vinton and two in Shreveport.
Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. said it will pay $157 per share. That's a 7 percent premium to Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.'s Monday closing price of $146.40. The companies put the transaction's value at $2.9 billion, including debt.
Analysts said the two chains seemed to be a good match for each other.
"They both appeal to men," said Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst at NPD. Both are also popular among families with kids, she said.
The deal is expected to close in 2018's first quarter. It still needs the approval of Buffalo Wild Wings shareholders.
Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., which is based in Minneapolis, rose $9.20, or 6.3 percent, to $155.60 in Tuesday trading.