Max & Erma’s remains in Foley’s hands. Sort of.

max ermas sign

Bill Foley’s Glacier Restaurant Group has acquired the Max & Erma’s chain from American Blue Ribbon Holdings, a company the one-time Carl’s Jr. owner formerly controlled through another of his corporations.

The sale follows the closing last week of 13 Max & Erma’s units in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Max & Erma’s will now be headquartered in Foley’s hometown of Whitefish, Mont., where Glacier’s Mackenzie River Pizza, Ciao Mambo and Craggy Range chains are also based. Foley also owns a cattle business in the area.

Glacier said it foresees “exceptional growth” for Max & Erma’s, a casual brand that started by Max and Erma Visocnik in the 1950s.  

American Blue Ribbon Holdings bought Max & Erma’s, then numbering 80 units, in 2008 for $10.8 million. The majority shareholder in ABRH at the time was Fidelity National Financial, Foley’s main business. Fidelity is a title insurance concern.

Foley entered the restaurant industry decades ago after forming a financial relationship with Carl Karcher, the founder of Carl’s Jr. Foley ended up owning the chain, Hardee’s and a number of sister brands.


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