AppleGrove Restaurants Sells Majority Stake to Largest Independent Restaurant Operator in Central and Eastern Europe
LENEXA, KS--(Marketwire - July 21, 2008) - Applebee's International, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc., (NYSE: DIN), today announced that AppleGrove Restaurants, the second-largest franchisee of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar Restaurants, has closed the sale of an 80 percent interest in its company to a subsidiary of AmRest Holdings N.V. (WSE: EAT). AmRest is the largest independent quick service and casual dining restaurant operator in Central and Eastern Europe.
"We are pleased to welcome AmRest to the Applebee's system. Their investment is an indication of the confidence they have in our brand and our efforts to re-energize Applebee's," said Mike Archer, president, Applebee's International, Inc. "We look forward to working with AmRest and are pleased the senior management team of AppleGrove will have continued involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business."
Steve Grove, the founder of AppleGrove, remains a minority owner in the company. Grove is a charter franchisee of the Applebee's system, beginning in 1985, and expanded AppleGrove to more than 100 Applebee's locations in eight states. He was named Franchisee of the Year in 2003 and 2006.
"AppleGrove's growth strategies and operating principles of our company were very similar to that of AmRest," said Grove. "We strongly believe this transaction will jointly enhance our abilities to reach our business potential and further strengthen the Applebee's brand."
AmRest, established in Poland in 2000 as a joint venture of American Retail Concepts and the Yum! Brands Company (earlier operating as Tricon Global Concepts), operates in two restaurant sectors: Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) -- KFC, Burger King, Starbucks and freshpoint and Casual Dining Restaurants (CDR) -- Pizza Hut, Rodeo Drive and Applebee's®. With this acquisition of AppleGrove, AmRest significantly diversified its portfolio by strengthening its Casual Dining Restaurants' arm. In total, AmRest franchises and manages seven restaurant brands in seven countries.
"We're excited to join the Applebee's family," said Henry McGovern, co-founder and Chairman of Supervisory Board of AmRest. "We share a common passion for operational excellence and a thirst for new growth and development. Working with Steve and the team at AppleGrove and partnering closely with Applebee's, I'm looking forward to leveraging our combined experience and expertise to ensure that we continue to build the brand. "
Applebee's International, Inc., and its affiliates, franchise and operate restaurants under Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and is a DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN) brand. As of June 30, 2008, there were 1,993 Applebee's restaurants operating system-wide in 49 states, 17 international countries and one U.S. territory, of which 509 were company-owned. Additional information on Applebee's can be found at the company's website (www.applebees.com).
AmRest Holdings N.V. (AmRest, WSE: EAT) is the largest independent restaurant operator in Central and Eastern Europe. Since 1993 it's been building a portfolio of well recognized power brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King and Starbucks based on solid franchise and joint venture partnerships. Today, AmRest operates over 270 category leading Quick Service and Casual Dining restaurants, including the freshpoint and Rodeo Drive proprietary brands. Through its "Everything is Possible" culture, close to 9000 AmRest employees deliver craveable taste and exceptional service at affordable prices every day. More information can be found at www.amrest.pl/eng/.
AppleGrove Restaurants is one of the oldest and largest franchisees in the Applebee's system. Founded in 1984, the company currently owns and operates more than 100 restaurants in eight states. With core values that promote teamwork, learning, customer service and celebration, AppleGrove is dedicated to making each Applebee's an integral part of the local community, and providing each and every guest with a true "neighborhood" dining experience. Based in Atlanta, AppleGrove employs more than 60 full time team members at its corporate headquarters and regional offices, and over 7,500 full and part time employees nationwide at the restaurant level. More information on the company can be found at www.applegrove.com.