Ohio-based Bob Evans announces plan to sell restaurants

Golden Gate Capital will purchase Bob Evans restaurants for over $565 million

Bob Evans restaurant in Boardman.

NEW ALBANY, Ohio (WCMH) — Bob Evans is selling its restaurant division to concentrate on refrigerated food sales.

New Albany-based Bob Evans Farms announced the plan Tuesday.

Golden Gate Capital will purchase Bob Evans restaurants for $565 million plus the assumption of certain net working capital liabilities. Bob Evans expects net proceeds of $475 to $485 million.

San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital is a private equity firm that also owns California Pizza Kitchen and Red Lobster.

Bob Evans Farms announced that it is acquiring Pineland Farms Potato Company for $115 million.

The company said in a news release:

The sale of Bob Evans Restaurants and the acquisition of Pineland Farms Potato Company (“PFPC”) marks the beginning of a new era at Bob Evans Farms (“Bob Evans”) in which the Company will focus exclusively on realizing the full potential of its BEF Foods business.

BEF Foods is the national market share leader in refrigerated dinner side-dishes and is also the market share leader in sausage products in its core Midwest markets.

The new Bob Evans, further strengthened by the manufacturing and intellectual capital of PFPC, is positioned to be a higher profit and higher growth company that is expected to provide better returns to shareholders and an enhanced product line for customers.

The acquisition of Pineland Farms Potato Company gives Bob Evans Farms access to new distribution channels and side-dish production capacity.

Both deals are expected to close by the end of fiscal 2017.

Bob Evans announced in April the closure of 27 underperforming restaurants, including two in Ohio.