Bankrupt Kona Grill’s next chapter comes with a new owner. The One Group Hospitality— parent company of STK Steakhouse—agreed to acquire the polished chain on September 3 for $25 million.
In the new deal, The One Group will purchase the remaining 24 of Kona’s domestic restaurants and assume certain contracts, including two international franchise licenses. The restaurant group will also take on more than $11 million in liabilities. “The acquisition is expected to add approximately $100 million in annualized revenue,” The One Group said in a statement.
It will take about 12 months to complete the integration of the brand if the deal goes through. In order to move forward, the acquisition needs to be approved by federal bankruptcy group.
“Kona Grill is an excellent brand that has maintained a strong position in the remaining 24 restaurants,” Emanuel “Manny” Hilario, president and CEO of The One Group, said in a statement. “Through this transaction, we believe we can leverage our corporate infrastructure and operating expertise, particularly our bar-business know-how and VIBE dining, to drive improved performance in many of the same ways we have substantially improved comparable store sales, and overall profitability at STK.”
The One Group sees Kona Grill as a complementary concept to one of its other brands, STK. The acquisition and integration of the chain could create a long-term growth vehicle for the restaurant group, the company said.
“The remaining 24 domestic restaurants, down from 40 at year-end 2018, reflect a strong base of high performing restaurants in attractive markets,” Hilario added. “We look forward to maximizing the multiple opportunities that this acquisition will provide to create long-term shareholder value.”
Struggling Kona Grill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in April. A federal bankruptcy court approved the sale of the Scottsdale, Arizona–based brand to Williston Holding Co. for $20.3 million in July. The deal was vacated in August after the company said it couldn't close under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, according to court documents.
WHC was founded by Marcus Jundt, who cofounded Kona Grill and served on the board from 2000 to 2009. Jundt also held the CEO post twice—from 2006 to 2009 and then for a few months last year. He resigned in March.