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Roark is bidding for Buffalo Wild Wings, report says

The parent company of Arby’s, Carl’s Jr. and Jimmy John’s has offered to buy Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon.

The exclusive report, citing unnamed sources close to the negotiations, said the private-equity firm Roark Capital Group has offered $150 a share for Buffalo Wild Wings, whose stock was trading at about $117 at the time the story came to light.

Hours later, CNBC said it had confirmed the report with its sources.

The deal would be the biggest engineered by Roark, whose other holdings include stakes in Corner Bakery, Miller’s Ale House, Hardee’s, Culver’s, Jim ‘N Nick’s, McAlister’s and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

It would also pluck BWW out of a long-running power struggle with an investor, Marcato Capital, that has loudly taken issue with the company’s management and strategic direction. Marcato wants BWW to refranchise the 638 restaurants that are run by the franchisor, or roughly half of the chain.

That dispute led to the resignation of longtime CEO Sally Smith, who said simultaneous with BWW’s fractious annual meeting that she would step down by Dec. 31.

Neither Roark nor BWW has publicly commented on the Journal report.

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