Yet another restaurant special acquisition company has joined the fray.
On January 25, Bite Acquisition Corp. submitted its intentions to raise $150 million with hopes of acquiring a traditional or nontraditional restaurant brand that has “robust development potential in national and international markets” and has “product offerings suitable for multi-generational and diverse ethnic palettes.”
Like any other special acquisition company (SPAC), or blank check company, Bite was formed for the purpose of merging with a brand and bringing it to the public stock market.
“We intend to combine with a business that currently has moved, or is easily adaptable, to new approaches to customer communications and ordering, understands the dynamics of serving customers at its restaurants and at home, and has adopted new guest-facing and control/systems technologies,” the company said in an SEC filing. “We will also look for traditional, well-maintained restaurants brands with strong growth potential.”
“In the current business climate, our goal is to identify a company that can benefit from added leadership expertise, broader access to capital markets and technology, and is at the inflection point where high growth is required in its upcoming operational phase.”
Rafael Felipe de Jesús Aguirre Gomez, founder of food, beverage, and entertainment brand, Mera Corporation, is serving as chairman. Alberto Ardura González, who has more than 35 years of experience in the financial industry, is working as CEO.
Notable board members include Julia Stewart, the former CEO of Dine Brands who spearheaded IHOP’s acquisition of Applebee’s, and Joseph Essa, the CEO and president of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. The team has more than 100 years of combined experience in North America as founders, owners, executives, and advisors in the restaurant industry.
“The members of our team have a long track record of operating restaurants successfully and delivering consistent positive results to its shareholders,” the filing said. “Collectively, they possess a wide-ranging set of competencies, in relation with the North American traditional and non-traditional restaurant industry, as well as a deep knowledge of how to structure deals and financial transactions, all resulting in an extensive track record of growth and creation of value.”
Bite is looking for a brand with an enterprise value in the $400 million to $850 million range or higher at the time of the merger. Other criteria include companies that are performance leaders in their market segment, have access to growth opportunities (organic and acquisition), have a proven concept in multiple markets, are positioned to benefit from additional avenues of capital, technology, and leadership, and are adaptable to technologies.
“We believe that the set of potential opportunities for business combinations in a variety of the industry segments, including [Quick-Service Restaurant], Fast Casual and Polished Casual Dining, has increased by this current environment,” the filing said. “As the economy recovers and businesses reopen, we foresee a unique opportunity for many substantial platforms to quickly capture market share and expand operations, further accelerated as a public trading company with access to capital.”
Bite is the latest in a handful of restaurant SPACs seeking a big-time deal. FAST Acquisition Corp, formed in August 2020, announced Monday that it will take billionaire Tilman Fertitta’s Golden Nugget casino and Landry’s restaurant business public by the end of Q2. The enterprise value of the company is expected to be $6.6 billion.
Additionally, Red Robin Chairman Dave Pace and Bartaco and Barcelona Wine Bar Founder Andy Pforzheimer helped form Tastemaker Acquisition Corp. Starboard Value Acquisition Company, which includes former Dunkin’ and Papa John’s CEO Nigel Travis, was also created last summer.