The Bob Evans family-dining chain is exploring a sale that could value it at up to $600 million.
That's according to a Bloomberg report published Monday that cited people with knowledge of the matter.
The nearly 500-unit brand is currently owned by Golden Gate Capital, which bought it in 2017 for $565 million in hopes of turning it around.
Both Bob Evans and Golden Gate declined to comment on a potential sale.
The New Albany, Ohio-based chain has apparently weathered the pandemic rather well. It was an early adopter of takeout and delivery, and off-premise was already accounting for about 19% of its sales when lockdowns hit in March 2020, CEO Saed Mohseni told Restaurant Business over the summer. He predicted systemwide sales of $780 million for 2021, about the same as 2019.
In general, though, Bob Evans has struggled in recent years along with the family-dining segment as a whole. Going into the pandemic, the chain's sales had fallen every year since 2016, according to Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.
Sources told Bloomberg that the chain generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of about $65 million last year, implying a valuation of up to $600 million.
The restaurant M&A market coming out of the pandemic has been marked by high valuations despite lots of uncertainty as prospective buyers try to determine just how much brands are worth.
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