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Ropes & Gray Advises The Habit Restaurants Inc. on its Sale to YUM! Brands Inc.

Practices: Labor & Employment, Tax, Litigation, Antitrust, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities & Public Companies, Corporate Governance & Compliance

Ropes & Gray advised The Habit Restaurants Inc., operator of The Habit Burger Grill, in connection with its sale to YUM! Brands Inc., owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. The transaction was announced on Jan. 6, and is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2020. The press release is here.

Yum! Brands will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of The Habit Burger Grill for $14 per share in cash or a total of approximately $375 million. The board of directors of The Habit Burger Grill, acting on the recommendation of a special committee composed of non-executive independent directors, has unanimously approved the transaction.

The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast-casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade tuna cooked over an open flame. The Habit Burger Grill operates nearly 300 company-owned and franchised restaurants across the U.S. and China.

The Ropes & Gray team that advised the Habit was led by private capital transaction partner Carl Marcellino (New York), and included labor and employment partner Megan Bisk (Boston), tax partner Adam Greenwood (New York), benefits partner Danna Kivell (New York), litigation partners David Hennes and Martin Crisp (both of New York), and antitrust partners Jon Klarfeld (Washington) and Ruchit Patel (London).

The team also included corporate associates Jessica Cooney, Michael Shulman and Logan Pettigrew (all of New York), Lucas Caron and Samantha Galvin (both of Boston) as well as counsels Deidre Johnson and Claire Rosa (both of Boston), and benefits principal Bruce Gaffney (Boston).

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