Canada’s MTY to Acquire Baja Fresh and La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill

Montreal-based MTY Food Group Inc. [TSX: MTY] announced this morning that it has signed an agreement to acquire BF Acquisition Holdings, LLC., owner of California-based Baja Fresh Mexican Grill and La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill for $27 million. The deal is expected to conclude within the next 30 days.

MTY has been on a buying spree. At the end of July, the Quebec company completed its acquisition of Arizona-based Kahala Brands, parent firm of 18 franchising brands, such as Cold Stone Creamery and sandwich shop chain Blimpie. Its recent acquisitions bring its restaurant brands, which before its American purchases were largely focused in food courts of Canadian malls, to a count of nearly 60.

"Following the addition of Kahala last month, MTY intends to continue and accelerate its growth throughout North America, leveraging both its US platforms and Canadian platforms to acquire profitable restaurant concepts," said Stanley Ma, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of MTY. "The acquisition of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill and La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill perfectly aligns with our growth strategy and is one more step towards building a bigger and better organization for the future."

Baja Fresh franchises and operates 162 restaurants and La Salsa 23. Of these 185 eateries, 16 are company owned. Their headquarters will be moved from southern California to MTY's American office in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Don Sniegowski