BurgerFi to buy Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza for $161.3M

Ian Baines will become the CEO of BurgerFi once the deal is closed while the private equity firm L Catterton will become one of its largest shareholders.
Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza sale
BurgerFi is buying the casual dining pizza chain Anthony's from L Catterton./Photograph: Shutterstock

BurgerFi on Monday said it has a deal to buy the 61-unit Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings from L Catterton for $161.3 million in stock and assumed debt.

As part of the deal, Ian Baines will become CEO of BurgerFi while Julio Ramirez will remain CEO and president of the BurgerFi brand and Patrick Renna will become president of the Anthony’s brand.

L Catterton, the private equity group, will receive $86.6 million in stock from the deal and BurgerFi will assume $74.7 million of Anthony’s debt. L Catterton will become one of BurgerFi’s largest shareholders as a result of the deal.

The acquisition comes less than a year after the Palm Beach, Fla.-based BurgerFi went public in a reverse merger with the blank check company Opes Acquisition. It will also give the company a total of 177 systemwide restaurants in its two brands.

BurgerFi also indicated that it was intent on buying other brands. “This is our first acquisition in building a premium multibrand platform,” Ophir Sternberg, executive chairman of BurgerFi, said in a statement. “We are well positioned to continue the growth of our existing BurgerFi brand and leverage our scale to unlock value from strategic acquisitions.”

Anthony’s makes its pizzas in a 900-degree coal-fired oven and its menu also features chicken wings, meatballs, sandwiches and salads. The casual-dining concept struggled last year during the pandemic, but finished with $103.9 million in system sales at its 61 locations.

“Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza will be a fantastic addition to the BurgerFi family,” said Baines, who has been the president of the Darden Restaurants-owned Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. He called it “a well-positioned, differentiated pizza and wing concept with industry-leading average unit volumes and strong profitability.”

BurgerFi said that Anthony’s pre-COVID average unit volumes were $2.3 million and its operating margins 19%. The company had averaged 12% annual growth between 2011 and 2019.

Sternberg will continue to lead the company as its executive chairman and Mike Rabinovitch will continue to be its chief financial officer.

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