Ignite Restaurant Group announced April 9 that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Romano’s Macaroni Grill (“Macaroni Grill”) for approximately $55.0 million in an all-cash transaction from private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, management and investors. The acquisition includes 186 company-owned and five franchised restaurants across 36 states as well as 19 additional franchised units throughout nine U.S. territories and foreign countries.
“We are pleased to have closed on the acquisition of Macaroni Grill and add such an iconic brand to the Ignite Restaurant Group portfolio,” says Ray Blanchette, CEO of Ignite Restaurant Group. “With a similar operating format, Macaroni Grill is an ideal fit with our existing polished casual restaurants. We believe our history of driving operational improvement along with our brand management and real estate portfolio strengths provide the opportunity to drive significant shareholder value over time. We are delighted to be expanding our restaurant portfolio and we welcome all of our new team members and associates to the Ignite family.”
The company also announced that David Catalano has been named president of Macaroni Grill. Catalano has 25 years of experience in the casual dining and hospitality industry, most recently as COO for Rave Cinemas. He also served as Chief Operating Officer for Apple Gold, an Applebee’s franchisee with approximately 70 locations, COO for Hard Rock Cafe and spent 15 years with TGI Fridays holding a variety of leadership positions including vice president of operations.
Blanchette adds, “David is a seasoned executive whose track record of operational and strategic leadership will be an asset not only for guiding the Macaroni Grill brand, but to the entire Ignite organization. The addition of David to our team completes our new organizational structure, which will allow us to lever the synergies of being a multi-concept company without distracting the operations teams from growing their respective brands and delivering an exceptional guest experience.”