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Bob Evans plans $200M sale-leaseback after closing 18 restaurants

Bob Evans Farms said it plans to package some of its restaurant real estate for a sale and leaseback that should fetch $200 million.

“We would anticipate net proceeds of $165 [million] to $170 million from such a transaction,” CFO Mark Hood said in a statement.

The company did not reveal how many restaurant plots would be included in a deal or what potential buyers have been identified. It expects the deal to be completed during the second half of fiscal 2016.

The announcement came in the company’s release of financial results for the first quarter ended July 24. Eighteen Bob Evans restaurants were closed during the period, and same-store sales slipped by 0.3 percent.

Net sales for the 542-unit chain slipped by $1.5 million, to $238.7 million, the company said.

Corporate operating income rose 21 percent, buoyed by a 327 percent increase in contribution from the company’s retail-foods division.

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