They claim that they “have the meats,” and now Arby’s definitely has all the chicken wings they’ll ever need. Arby’s announced on Tuesday that they have reached an agreement to buy casual dining restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings for roughly $2.9 billion.
Roark Capital Group, who owns Arby’s, will pay $157 cash per share for Buffalo Wild Wings. That number includes the restaurant chain’s debt. It’s been a rough stretch for Buffalo Wild Wings, which has had to deal with the growing cost of chicken wings and the overall decline of casual dining eateries.
The sale of Buffalo Wild Wings comes on the heels of the retirement of longtime CEO Sally Smith in June. Smith was essentially forced out following harsh criticism from activist investor Marcato Capital Management, who supports the sale to Arby’s.
How Buffalo Wild Wings will differ in its operations once the sale is final remains to be seen. The restaurant chain and its more than 1,250 locations will continue to function as a private subsidiary under Arby’s Restaurant Group and CEO Paul Brown.
“Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the most distinctive and successful entertainment and casual dining restaurant companies in America,” Brown said in a statement. “We look forward to leveraging the combined strengths of both organizations into a truly differentiated and transformative multi-brand restaurant company.”
Based on that statement, it would seem that changes are afoot for both Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings once the deal is final. Could it mean hot wings at Arby’s? Could it mean Arby’s sauce on your wings? Perhaps Buffalo Wild Wings will start to offer Jamocha Shakes to neutralize the hotness of its wings? Time will only tell.