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FAT Brands CEO: 'We’re very actively looking at things to acquire today' after Johnny Rockets acquisition

Julia La Roche
·Correspondent

FAT Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn says the fast-casual restaurant franchise operator is on the lookout for another acquisition after this week’s purchase of burger chain Johnny Rockets.

“We’re very actively looking at things to acquire today. I would assume that we make one or two acquisitions in the coming couple of quarters,” Wiederhorn told Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade” on Friday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard, resulting in falling valuations, but also prices that enable buyers to make a deal.

“The brands are banged up. Everything’s a little banged up in the restaurant space right now. It is what it is,” Wiederhorn said.

On Thursday, FAT Brands (FAT), the owner of Fatburger and Hurricane Grill & Wings, acquired the 1950s-style diner burger chain Johnny Rockets from private equity firm Sun Capital Partners for $25 million. Shares of FAT Brands jumped nearly 100% on the deal news.

“We made this acquisition for the long-term. COVID-19 is a short-term crisis. It’s not going to go on forever,” Wiederhorn added.

He asserted that the restaurant industry would survive, but it’s going to have to “take some lumps.”

“It’s painful for everyone, and you know, the government really needs to do another round of PPP and the payroll tax cuts and something for the landlords, but it’s going to survive. So, I think now is the time to make those deals if you can.”

Shares of FAT Brands were trading 14.2% lower, or off by $1, at $6.01 after closing at $7.01 on Thursday.

Julia La Roche is a Correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter