Dallas’ Fiesta Restaurant Group To Be Acquired for a Reported $225M

The parent company of the Pollo Tropical restaurant brand—which had locations in North Texas between 2014 and 2017 but never quite caught on with Tex-Mex loving diners here—now operates its Pollo Tropical locations mostly in Florida. Fiesta will now operate as a privately held company.

Dallas-based Fiesta Restaurant Group—parent company of the Pollo Tropical restaurant brand—is being acquired by New York-based Authentic Restaurant Brands, a portfolio company of Garnett Station Partners. The all-cash transaction totals $225 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Under the terms of the definitive merger agreement, Fiesta common stockholders will receive cash consideration of $8.50 per share.

Pollo Tropical once had locations in Dallas-Fort Worth—its first Texas restaurant opened in Addison in 2014 (above). But Pollo Tropical closed all its Texas locations in 2017 after its citrus-marinated chicken, roast pork, and other menu items failed to catch on with Tex-Mex-loving Lone Star State diners.

Pollo Tropical locations are mostly in Florida

Currently, Pollo Tropical has just under 140 company-owned locations and around 30 franchised units. Most by far are in Florida, but the brand also has locations in Puerto Rico, Panama, Guyana, and the Bahamas.

Authentic Restaurant Brands owns the sports-bar chain PJ Whelihan’s, Primanti Bros. sandwich shops, and Mambo Seafood.

Dirk Montgomery, president and CEO of the Fiesta Restaurant Group, said the acquisition “validates the actions we’ve taken to position Pollo Tropical in our markets, enhance the guest experience, and improve performance across our footprint.”

“With this transaction, Fiesta will be better positioned financially and operationally to advance our mission of providing great food and hospitality to our guests,” Montgomery added in a statement. “Garnett Station has a proven track record of successfully identifying and partnering with iconic, regionally focused brands to help accelerate their growth.

Montgomery said Pollo Tropical’s brand, franchisees, and people will benefit from Garnett and ARB’s “extensive restaurant, digital, and analytical expertise.”

Fiesta Board Chair Stacey Rauch added that the transaction “delivers significant, immediate, and certain value to Fiesta stockholders while providing Pollo Tropical the scale, resources, and flexibility for continued success as part of a private company.”

“Fiesta and Pollo Tropical restaurants are a natural fit into ARB’s existing portfolio,” Matt Perelman, managing partner and co-founder of Garnett Station Partners, said in a statement. “Pollo Tropical restaurants have a storied heritage and a deep-rooted connection with their local communities that perfectly align with ARB’s ethos and value proposition. ARB looks forward to working with Dirk and Fiesta’s leadership.”

Fiesta will operate as a privately held company, with Pollo Tropical to remain based in Miami, Florida. Fiesta’s leadership team will continue to operate Pollo Tropical as an independent brand within the ARB platform, the companies said.

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