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Fatburger owner to buy Johnny Rockets burger chain

Aug 13 – Fatburger owner Fat Brands Inc said on Thursday it would buy 1950s diner-style chain Johnny Rockets from private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc for about $25 million.

The deal comes as fast-food restaurants see a surge in demand for comfort food delivered to their homes, as lockdowns spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic kept many diners away from restaurants.

Johnny Rockets was founded in 1986 with its first location on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and became famous for its 1950s diner style decor, burgers and ice cream shakes.

Fat Brands’ Chief Executive Officer Andy Wiederhorn said the company expects to modernize Johnny Rocket’s menu, which already has a black bean burger, by adding plant-based options and vegan milkshakes.

The deal is expected to be completed in September, and following the acquisition, Fat Brands will have more than 700 franchised and company-owned restaurants. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru and Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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