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Buffalo Wild Wings shares surge 25 percent after private equity firm makes offer to buy chain

Lauren Hirsch
Source: Buffalo Wild Wings. Roark Capital has made an offer to buy Buffalo Wild Wings, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Roark Capital has made an offer to buy Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), a source familiar with the matter told CNBC. Roark made an offer of more than $150 per share, the person told CNBC. Shares surged nearly 28 percent after The Wall Street Journal initially reported the offer. The shares jumped 25.8 percent to $147.50 in premarket trading Tuesday. The person who spoke to CNBC asked not to be named because the information is confidential. Buffalo Wild Wings and Roark did not immediately respond to requests for comment A private equity buyout of the the chicken wing restaurant chain would come months after it lost a bitter proxy contest that led to the retirement announcement of its CEO and the addition of three new directors to its board. Activist investor Marcato had pushed Buffalo Wild Wings to move away from its strategy of mostly owning its restaurants to a more capital-light franchised model. After the proxy fight concluded in June, CEO Sally Smith said she would retire by the end of the year. Marcato added three of its four nominees to the board, including Marcato manager Mick McGuire. Buffalo Wild Wing's stock had dropped 34 percent over the last year from $163 a share to $108 a share, before surprising the street last month when it beat its third quarter earnings expectations . As of Monday's close, the stock was down more than 28 percent over the past 12 months. For Roark, the acquisition would fit well within its restaurant heavy investment portfolio, including sandwich chain restaurant Arby's. Arby's earlier this year tried buy Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The deal would also be notable for potentially marking the return of private equity buyouts of publicly traded restaurants. Such deals have slowed, as restaurants have largely traded too expensively for financial buyers. Recent challenges though, including increased competition and preference for dining at home, have lowered share prices.

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