Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM) on Monday, Jan. 6, announced it would acquire fast-casual restaurant chain Habit Restaurants Inc., which does business as Habit Burger Grill, for $375 million in cash.
The Irvine, Calif.-based company has been on The Deal’s Watch List since June 22, following a note from Gordon Haskett Research Advisors that the company could be ripe for activist engagement.
Greenwich, Conn.-based KarpReilly Capital Partners LP holds a roughly 16% stake in Habit and controls two board seats. It acquired a stake in the company in 2007 as part of an investor group that also included BlackRock Inc. (BLK), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Paul Fleming, the founder of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. BlackRock owned about 6.9% of shares as of June, according to FactSet Research Systems Inc.
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