USA – Yum! Brands has entered into a definitive agreement with The Habitat Restaurants to acquire fast-casual restaurant chain, The Habit Burger Grill for approximately US$375 million in a cash transaction.

The acquisition of The Habit Burger Grill will add the fast-casual dining restaurant to Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of units and parent of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell global brands.

Founded in California in 1969, The Habit Burger Grill offers a flavor-forward variety of made-to-order items including charburgers, hand-filleted and marinated chargrilled chicken sandwiches and sushi-grade chargrilled ahi tuna sandwiches.

David Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer of Yum! Brands, said, “We’ve emerged from our three-year transformation stronger and in a better position to accelerate the growth of our existing brands and leverage our scale to unlock value from strategic acquisitions.”

“As a fast-casual concept with strong unit economics, The Habit Burger Grill is a fantastic addition to the Yum! family and has significant untapped growth potential in the U.S. and internationally.

“With its delicious burgers and fresh proteins chargrilled over an open flame, The Habit Burger Grill offers consumers a diverse, California-style menu with premium ingredients at a QSR-like value.

“The transaction is a win-win because it allows us to offer an exciting new investment to our franchisees and to expand an award-winning, trend-forward brand through the power of Yum!’s unmatched scale and strengths in franchising, purchasing and brand-building.”

Russell Bendel, President and CÈO of The Habit Burger Grill, said, “This transaction represents an exciting new chapter to strengthen and significantly grow The Habit Burger Grill by leveraging Yum! Brands’ global scale, resources and franchising capabilities.

“We’re confident the agreement delivers immediate value to The Habit Burger Grill shareholders and will greatly benefit our beloved brand, team members, franchisees and loyal guests for many years to come.”

The Habit Burger Grill operates nearly 300 company-owned and franchised restaurants across the US and in China.

The transaction is subject to approval by The Habit Burger Grill’s stockholders, regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2020.

Upon closing of the transaction, The Habit Burger Grill will remain based in California, and will continue to be managed by The Habit Burger Grill’s President and CEO Russell Bendel and CFO Ira Fils. Mr. Bendel will report directly to David Gibbs.