Landcadia Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, and Waitr Incorporated, the fast growing restaurant platform for online ordering and on-demand food delivery, announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Waitr will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Landcadia. Immediately following the proposed transaction, Landcadia intends to change its name to Waitr Holdings Inc. and is expected to continue to trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Headquartered in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Waitr is a leading restaurant platform for online food ordering and delivery in the Southeastern United States. The company partners with local independent restaurants and regional and national chains in underserved markets, extending the massive and growing online ordering and food delivery market to America’s heartland.
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Landcadia would acquire Waitr for $308 million in total consideration. Landcadia will pay a minimum of $50 million in cash to the equity holders of Waitr at the closing of the proposed transaction (including holders of vested options for Waitr shares) with the remainder paid in the combined company’s common stock. The net cash proceeds from this transaction in excess of those distributed to Waitr’s equity holders are expected to be used to fund Waitr’s continued growth in current and new markets and allow Waitr to pursue opportunistic acquisitions to grow its U.S. footprint.
Upon the closing of the proposed transaction, Tilman J. Fertitta, will serve as a director of the combined company, and in such capacity will be in a position to oversee the combined company’s growth and brand building. Chris Meaux, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Waitr, and the rest of the Waitr executive team will continue in their respective roles in the combined company. Mr. Meaux will also be appointed Chairman of the combined company’s board of directors.
Mr. Fertitta is one of the foremost authorities in the dining, hospitality, entertainment and gaming industries. He is the sole owner and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board and President of Golden Nugget, Inc., Landry’s, Inc., and Fertitta Entertainment, Inc., and is the owner of the NBA Houston Rockets.
Mr. Fertitta says: “This transaction with Waitr provides an incredible opportunity for the combined company to be the next leader in the fast growing online food delivery market. Our experience with Waitr as a partner combines best in class on-demand food delivery for diners and a true partnership for restaurants. Our brands and customers are critical to our success, and Waitr’s high quality of service reflects well on our brands. We have seen firsthand the impact Waitr has had on our restaurants, the incremental sales growth it drives, and the positive feedback we receive from our customers. Not only am I excited about the Landcadia-Waitr transaction, I am also pleased to have Chris and the entire Waitr team as a Landry’s delivery partner and look forward to growing successfully together.”
In addition to Messrs. Fertitta and Meaux, Steven L. Scheinthal, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Landcadia, will also join the combined company’s board of directors. Waitr will appoint four additional directors, at least three of whom will be independent.
Mr. Meaux says: “We are excited to partner with Landcadia and Tilman to accelerate our current growth and expand our footprint to new markets. Tilman’s domain expertise and his team’s deep experience and knowledge in the restaurant industry is the perfect complement to our focus on restaurant partners and our commitment to a unique customer experience in the online ordering and food delivery sector. Additionally, access to Landry’s portfolio of over 600 restaurants as a delivery partner, promotion of Waitr to over four million loyalty members across Landry’s restaurants and Golden Nugget Casinos, the opportunity for partnership with the Houston Rockets and its more than nine million Facebook followers and also the ability to drive elevated traditional and social media exposure both nationally and in strategic markets creates an exciting opportunity to accelerate customer acquisition.”
The boards of directors of both Landcadia and Waitr have unanimously approved the proposed transaction. Completion of the proposed transaction is subject to Landcadia stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect that the proposed transaction will be completed later this year.
For additional information on the proposed transaction, see Landcadia’s Current Report on Form 8-K, which will be filed promptly and can be obtained, without charge, at the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) at www.sec.gov.
Jefferies LLC is serving as financial and capital markets advisors to Landcadia, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. is serving as capital markets advisor to Landcadia and Winston & Strawn LLP is acting as legal counsel to Landcadia. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC is serving as financial advisor to Waitr and Cara Stone, LLP is acting as legal advisor to Waitr.