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Cara Operations buys Keg Restaurants for $200M


Vaughan, Ont. – Cara Operations will acquire Keg Restaurants Ltd. in a $200-million deal that will allow the companies to share marketing, real estate and overall costs.

Cara Operations Limited, Keg Restaurants Ltd. and The Keg Royalties Income Fund announced in a news release.

Vancouver-based Keg Restaurants Ltd. is the owner/operator and franchisor of casual dining steakhouse restaurants operating under the trade name “The Keg Steakhouse & Bar” in Canada and select markets in the United States. Cara is Canada’s largest operator and franchisor of full-service restaurants and the third largest restaurant group in Canada. It includes such brands as Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s and Milestones.

Cara restaurants’ sales exceeded $2 billion last year, and The Keg’s exceeded $600 million.

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With this merger, Keg Restaurants Ltd. will assume oversight of Cara’s higher-end casual brands, namely The Bier Markt, the Landing Group and Milestones restaurants. This will enable Cara to introduce into these brands the key success factors experienced by The Keg, the companies said in the release.

Cara’s size combined with The Keg will provide synergistic opportunities in marketing, real estate and overall costs that will help further grow the Keg and Cara brands, the release said.

David Aisenstat is currently president and chief executive officer of KRL and will remain in this position while overseeing the three additional Cara brands. Aisenstat will also join the Cara board of directors as vice-chairman. Bill Gregson will remain as president and chief executive officer of Cara and chairman of the Cara board.  

Cara intends to change its corporate name to reflect this new business composition following the closing of the transaction.  

The addition of 106 The Keg restaurants will provide Cara with a network of 1,365 restaurants.