Bob Evans Farms has agreed to sell its namesake family restaurant chain to Golden Gate Capital, the owner of California Pizza Kitchen and a major stakeholder in Red Lobster, for $565 million and the assumption of capital liabilities valued at $40 million to $50 million.
The deal is a concession to shareholders who had been pressing for a separation of the restaurant half of the company from Bob Evans’ extensive retail-food business.
Bob Evans Farms is simultaneously buying one food processing operation, Pineland Farms Potato Co..
“As a more focused private business, Bob Evans Restaurants will be better able to deliver on its brand promise,” Bob Evans Farms CEO Saed Mohseni said in a statement. “We believe our talented restaurant teams, combined with Golden Gate Capital’s industry expertise and significant resources, positions Bob Evans Restaurants well for realizing its full potential.”
Mohseni will become CEO of the restaurant operation after the deal is closed. Golden Gate said it expects to close on the deal by April 28, the end of Bob Evans Farms’ fiscal year.