Meat-loving Arby's buying Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.4B

Roark Capital Group has agreed to buy restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. for about $2.4 billion, adding to the private equity firm's stable of eateries that includes Arby's and Cinnabon. The shares got a small boost in October when results for the fall quarter turned out better than expected and a large one two weeks ago when news emerged that McGuire was seeking a buyer.

Roark Capital is a prominent player in the food industry, with investments in chains such as Carl's Jr., Carvel and Auntie Anne's.

Buffalo Wild Wings, also known as B-Dubs, was facing vast pressure from activist investors to go through with the Arby's deal. "We are excited to welcome a brand with such a rich heritage".

Buffalo Wild Wings' CEO Sally Smith said Tuesday that the merger "provides compelling value to our shareholders and is a testament to the hard work and efforts of our talented Team Members and franchisees".

There is now more than 3,300 Arby's spread across seven different countries and more than 1,250 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 10 countries. In 1991, he started to franchise the concept.

After the deal is completed, Buffalo Wild Wings will operate as a privately held subsidiary of Arby's Restaurant Group, with the CEO of Arby's, Paul Brown, holding that same role in the parent company, according to a release. In 1996, he made her the company's chief executive.

The acquisition caps a tumultuous year for Buffalo Wild Wings, which lost a proxy fight with activist Marcato Capital Management in June. Buffalo Wild Wings posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.36. Its restaurants took advantage of the rise of high-definition TVs, multiple sources of sports programs and the craft beer craze to create a high-energy destination for families and sports fans. Attempts to raise prices led to customer complaints. It will, however, continue to be operated as an independent brand, the company said.

Buffalo Wild Wings has apparently followed that formula recently, offering half-price deals.