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Cava Group acquires a massive competitor

D.C. fast-casual restaurant group Cava Group will acquire Zoe’s Kitchen Inc., a publicly traded chain of Mediterranean restaurants based in Plano, Texas. 

Cava has agreed to pay $12.75 per share to take Zoe’s private, a deal worth about $300 million and a 33 percent premium on Zoe’s closing price Aug. 16. Zoe’s stock (NYSE: ZOES) is up more than 30 percent in Friday morning trading.

Cava has 66 locations, mostly in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and in California. Zoe’s Kitchen, founded in 1995, has 261 locations in 24 states, including 10 in Greater Washington. 

The deal is being financed by a group of investors led by Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich, who made a “significant equity investment” in Cava through his fund, Act III Holdings, according to a release. Existing investors SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, Revolution Growth and funds advised by The Invus Group also participated in the deal. The company reported it raised more than $30 million in May, bringing its total…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.