November 6, 2018 / 1:21 PM / 16 days ago

Fast food chain Bojangles to be taken private for $593 million

(Reuters) - Fast-food chain Bojangles Inc (BOJA.O) is being taken private by investment firms Durational Capital Management LP and Jordan Co for $593.7 million, the latest deal in a sector that is struggling with high costs and increased competition.

The fried chicken and biscuit chain runs 766 restaurants, largely in southeastern United States, and has reported declining comparable restaurant sales in the past few quarters.

Dealmaking in the U.S. restaurant sector is heating up. In September, Arby and Buffalo Wild Wings owner Sonic Corp (SONC.O) was taken private for $1.57 billion, while sources told Reuters that Papa John’s International Inc (PZZA.O), the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company, had put itself up for sale.

Bojangles shareholders will receive $16.10 in cash for each share, representing a 15 percent premium to the company’s stock price before Reuters reported in September that the company was exploring alternatives, including a sale. Since the report, the stock has risen about 15 percent.

“In consultation with our outside advisors, the board has been evaluating several strategic alternatives over the last several months,” said William Kussell, director and non-executive chairman of Bojangles.

After the deal closes, Bojangles’ will continue to be operated as an independent, privately held company, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch was Bojangles’ financial adviser, while Shearman & Sterling LLP provided legal counsel, the company said.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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