Upscale, casual-dining The Cheesecake Factory has agreed to acquire Fox Restaurant Concepts and the remaining interest in the North Italia brand. The chain, which will pay $308 million in cash at closing for Fox and an additional $45 million during the next four years, says that the deal will reinforce its leadership position in experiential dining.
The Cheesecake Factory, founded in 1978, previously invested $88 million in Fox’s North Italia and Flower Child concepts in 2016. It will acquire the remaining interest in the North Italia concept for about $130 million in cash, bringing total consideration to $174 million, including $44 million previously invested. North Italia, a modern Italian upscale, casual-dining concept, currently has 20 locations in nine states and Washington D.C.
Sam Fox founded Fox Restaurant Concepts in 1998 with the opening of Wildflower in Tucson, AZ. The Phoenix-based company today includes Flower Child, Culinary Dropout, Blanco and The Henry, with a team of over 5,000 employees in more than 60 locations (including North Italia) across the U.S. It will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, and continue to be led by Sam Fox.
Following the completion of the transactions, North Italia’s operations will be located at The Cheesecake Factory corporate headquarters in Calabasas Hills, CA, to help scale the concept nationally. Through its subsidiaries, The Cheesecake Factory owns and operates 219 restaurants throughout the U.S., including Puerto Rico, and Canada, comprised of 202 locations of its namesake concept; 14 Grand Lux Cafes; two RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchens; and one Social Monk Asian Kitchen.