Del Frisco’s to buy owner of Barcelona and Bartaco for $325M

The deal for Barteca Restaurant Group gives the casual-dining operator two growth chains.

Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group on Monday announced a deal to acquire Barteca Restaurant Group, the owner of growth chains Barcelona Wine Bar and Bartaco, for $325 million.

The two chains operate a total of 31 locations in 10 states. And Del Frisco’s believes the two concepts could grow to as much as 400 locations nationally.

“They will provide opportunities to enable us to capture market share in the experiential dining segments, while mitigating the risk of seasonality and economic downturns to our current restaurant portfolio,” Del Frisco’s CEO Norm Abdallah said in a statement.

Jeff Carcara, Barteca’s CEO, will continue to lead Barteca once the deal is complete, and will report to Abdallah.

“I believe Norman and the team at DFRG share in the vision for what’s possible in terms of our evolution,” Carcara said in a statement. “There is strength in numbers and I am excited to see what more we can accomplish together.”

The two chains will give Del Frisco’s five concepts. It operates Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Del Frisco’s Grille and Sullivan’s Steakhouse. In March, the company said it is exploring a sale of Sullivan’s. And the company has only been adding units of its flagship, Double Eagle, given Del Frisco’s Grille’s weak recent sales performance.

Barteca gives Del Frisco’s two hot concepts that could provide the company with growth for some time.

Barcelona operates 15 locations and has three under development. It serves a selection of tapas and specialties from Spain and the Mediterranean and is known for its list of 400 Spanish and South American wines. Del Frisco’s said that Barcelona could grow to between 50 and 100 locations.

Bartaco operates 16 locations and has four under development. It serves “upscale street food with a coastal vibe in a laid-back environment,” the company said. Del Frisco’s believes Bartaco could grow to 200 to 300 locations nationwide.

Barcelona generated $127.9 million in net sales and $31.7 million in restaurant-level earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2017. Barcelona generated same-store sales growth of 1.9% in 2017 and 1.7% in the first quarter ended April 3. It has average unit volumes of $4.7 million, an average check of $35 and a sales-to-investment ratio of 2.3x.

Bartaco generated 7.3% same-store sales growth last year and 2.6% in the first three months of this year. It has $5.6 million average unit volumes, an average check of $22 and a sales-to-investment ratio of 3x.

“Barcelona and Bartaco are the perfect additions to the Del Frisco’s portfolio,” Del Frisco’s Chairman Ian Carter said in a statement.

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