Centerbridge’s $1.1 Bln Deal for P.F. Chang’s is Year’s Biggest Restaurant LBO So Far: UPDATED

What’s the biggest restaurant buyout this year?

So far it’s Centerbridge Partners’s $1.1 billion deal to buy P.F. Chang’s, according to data from Dealogic. Centerbridge is paying $51.50 a share cash for P.F. Chang’s, a 30% premium to its closing share price on Monday, Reuters said.

P.F. Chang’s operates two restaurant concepts in the Asian niche. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro is a full service, upscale casual dining restaurant while Pei Wei is “quick casual” and provides limited service.

In fact, P.F. Chang’s takeover is nearly 30x bigger than the next restaurant LBO. In January, Unitas Capital acquired the Carlyle Group’s stake in Babela Group. Babela owns three restaurant brands in China. The sale was valued at $40 million, according to Dealogic.

The last notable buyout in the restaurant sector occurred last year. Golden Gate Capital acquired California Pizza Kitchen for $470 million in 2011. Other recent restaurant deals include Roark Capital’s buy of Arby’s Restaurant Group for roughly $130 million. Roark, in a separate transaction, also acquired Il Fornaio Corp, which owns Corner Bakery Cafe. Olympus Partners bought NPC International, the largest Pizza Hut franchisee (this deal was announced in January).

“There are lots of deals in the air in restaurants,” says a banker. Benihana, for instance, went up for sale in March.

Centerbridge, a New York buyout shop, isn’t new to the restaurant sector. In November 2010, the firm announced it had acquired Rock Bottom Restaurants and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group. The companies operate as CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries.

Roger Matthews and Tim Ingrassia of Goldman Sachs advised P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. Keith Pelt and Noel Volpe of Deutsche Bank provided financial advice to Centerbridge. UPDATE: David Cannon and Mike Phalen of Wells Fargo Securities also provided financial advice to Centerbridge.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock