Short story: It was good to be a coffee chain this year.
— Danni Santana
Mergers and acquisitions activity in 2018 had a little bit of everything.
From quick-service restaurant (QSR) deals featuring Inspire Brands’ purchase of Sonic Drive-In, to activity in the delivery and reservation spaces with Resy buying Reserve, there was plenty for stakeholders to talk about. Some companies waited until year’s end to conclude business, as Dutch delivery company Takeaway.com snapped up Delivery Hero today.
The rolling up of coffee chains by bigger beverage brands including Nestle SA culminated in a big bet on Costa Coffee by Coca Cola. At $5.1 billion, it was the largest acquisition of the year.
But there were also some notable absentees this year. Restaurant Brands International, owner of Burger King, Tim Horton’s, and Popeye’s, went silent. Even more surprising is the lack of movement on the part of Dine Brands, which has publicly acknowledged a need to spice up its restaurant portfolio—already sporting Applebee’s and IHOP as subsidiaries.
The deals are listed in chronological order.
Top Restaurant M&A Deals of 2018
|Fogo de Chao||Rhone Capital||Upscale Dining||February||$560 million|
|Waitr||Landcadia Holdings, Inc.||Delivery||May||$308 million|
|Pret A Manger||JAB Holding Co.||QSR||May||$2 billion|
|Barcelona Wine Bar and Bartaco||Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group||Upscale Dining||June||$325 million|
|Costa Coffee||Coca-Cola||Coffee||August||$5.1 billion|
|Zoe’s Kitchen||Cava||QSR||August||$300 million|
|Sonic||Inspire Brands||QSR||September||$2.3 billion|
|Wagamama||Restaurant Group Plc||Casual Dining||October||$456 million|
|Bojangles||Durational Capital Management LP and The Jordan Company, L.P||QSR||November||$594 million|
|Delivery Hero (Germany only)||Takeaway.com||Delivery||December||$1 billion|
Source: News reports and public filings.
*Smashburger was bought in three installments: 45 percent in 2015 for and undisclosed amount; 40 percent in Feb 2018 for $100 million; and the remaining 15 percent for $10 million in December.