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Ryan's parent company entertaining possible sale, capital infusion

Published on Thursday, March 19, 2015

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Ovation Brands CEO Anthony Wedo announced he hiring of financial advisers to assist in possible sale of Ryan's and other buffet properties.
 

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Ovation Brands CEO Anthony Wedo announced he hiring of financial advisers to assist in possible sale of Ryan's and other buffet properties.

 

Ovation Brands Inc., a Greer-headquartered owner of Ryan’s and four other buffet brands, has announced it has hired financial advisors Duff & Phelps to assist in a possible sale of the business.

Ovation CEO Anthony Wedo told Nation’s Restaurant News, there are “several interested parties,” but it’s too early to say whether the company will be sold.

“The primary mission is to help existing investors monetize their investment and get more capital into the enterprise,” Wedo said. The process should take six months.

Ovation Brands owns Ryan’s, Home Town Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet and Fire Mountain and an upscale casual brand – Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse. There are 328 restaurants in 35 states.

The company has reached a point where it needs additional investment to continue what Wedo calls it’s reinvention. “We have proven that our reinvention works and have demonstrated incredible success. We are now poised to expand our reinvention to other markets. We are looking for investment partners ready to grow with us,” said Wedo.

Wedo took over Buffet Inc., in 2012 as it was emerging from its second bankruptcy and led its brand reinvention.

“We’ve pioneered a new segment in our category we like to call family casual. We now feature individually-made, fresh for you entrees, but still offer all you can eat variety, which combined, represents an awesome consumer value,” Wedo told NRN.

Ryan’s has been rebranded to focus on the company’s Southern heritage, or “Southern family goodness,” Wedo said. The remaining buffet brands have been given a “Main Street” theme, where different types of menu options are offered at different stations under their own sub-brands

Ovation’s roots date to 2006, with the merger of Buffets Inc. and Ryan’s Restaurant Group. which created a 675-unit buffet giant, but left the company with enormous debt, according to NRN. By 2008, the company went into bankruptcy the first time. It emerged in 2009, but filed for bankruptcy again in 2012, with nearly 500 restaurants.

 

 

 

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