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Bojangles' Southern-Fried Charms Win It a Pair of Private-Equity Suitors

By Motley Fool Staff – Nov 15, 2018 at 2:12PM

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Private equity firms Durational Capital Management and the Jordan Co. are acquiring the chicken and biscuits restaurant chain.

The fast-food space has been no picnic in recent years -- even the chains that found paths to thrive amid the rough environment have leaned heavily on value offers and tech innovation. Cajun-spiced fried chicken specialist Bojangles (BOJA), though, has not fared as well, and the $600 million cash offer it accepted from its soon-to-be new owners is below the value at which it went public a few years ago.

In this segment from Motley Fool Money, host Chris Hill and senior analysts Jeff Fischer, David Kretzmann, and Jason Moser discuss this deal, its tax implications for shareholders, and the restaurant space more broadly.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Nov. 09, 2018.

Chris Hill: Another restaurant being taken private. This week, Durational Capital Management bought Bojangles for nearly $600 million in cash. Jason, how are you holding up?

Jason Moser: Listen, it sounds like, at the end of the day, they're not going to be making any changes to the model there. So, I'm OK. I mean, as long as I can swing through the Atlanta Airport every now and then, get my spicy chicken biscuit and sweet tea, I'm OK with it. We've never been all that high on this company as an investment. The restaurant business faces a lot of challenges.

Hill: Quick question from one of our listeners, Matt Riley, who writes, "As a Bojangles shareholder, what options do I have to minimize any tax impacts? Can I just reinvest the funds without being taxed?" It is an all-cash deal.

Moser: It sounds like they're going to be getting all cash for your shares, so you're pretty much stuck with that. Probably a nice problem to have, at the end of the day, if you're making a little bit of money on the investment. But, yeah, they're offering all cash. It doesn't sound like there's another option, which is going to limit your tax strategy availability.

Hill: Next month, we'll be doing a show where we spend a little bit of time looking back at 2018. I feel like one of the things we're going to be talking about was, 2018 was the year where a whole lot of restaurants went private.

Moser: Yeah. I think that makes a lot of sense, though. We're seeing more and more that companies that have a collection of brands under their umbrella are the ones that are doing really well. Yum! Brands, Restaurant Brands International. That was one of the reasons why I thought maybe Wendy's might consider buying Bojangles. But it sounds like private equity, got to it first.

Jeff Fischer: Private equity is pretty smart, too. Bojangles is being taken private well below its IPO price in 2015.

David Kretzmann: Papa John's, still looking for a savior. I'm waiting.

Chris Hill has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. David Kretzmann owns shares of PZZA. Jason Moser has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Jeff Fischer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool is short shares of PZZA and has the following options: long November 2018 $55 calls on PZZA. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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