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Frisch’s to be acquired for $175 million

The Frisch’s family restaurant chain said it has agreed to be acquired by the private-equity fund NRD Partners I for $175 million, or $34 per share.

Frisch’s operates 95 restaurants and has franchised 26 more. 

The per-share amount exceeds yesterday’s closing price for Frisch’s shares by about 21 percent, the deal partners said.

Following the deal, Frisch’s CEO Craig Maier Jr. and Vice President of Marketing Karen Maier will leave the company but will remain part of the Frisch’s system as franchisees.

NRD is led by Aziz Hashim, a veteran of franchised chains. He has been a franchisee of Popeyes and Checkers/Rally’s, and has served as chairman of the International Franchise Association.

The deal extends beyond NRD’s usual range of investments in the $3 million to $25 million range.

Frisch’s is a remnant of the Big Boy system, which allowed franchisees to localize the brand by adding the name of the operator before the brand name. It once operated as Frisch’s Big Boy, but dropped the affiliation as Big Boy lost its marquee value.

The first Frisch’s restaurants were drive-ins and morphed considerably over the years. The group has been run by the Maier family since Craig’s grandfather opened the first unit in 1939. It was once a franchisee of Golden Corral.

Craig Maier said in a statement that the company had been pursuing a deal of some sort for two years.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement that maximizes value for our shareholders and ensures the iconic Frisch's restaurants can continue to provide a full-service family dining experience to our guests," he said.
 

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