NEW YORK — The owner of Arby's roast beef restaurants said Wednesday it agreed to pay $525 million in cash for Long John Silver's Restaurants Inc., the nation's biggest chain specializing in fish and seafood.
The deal will create a restaurant company with a combined 4,200 stores generating more than $2.5 billion in annual sales.
"The proposed addition of Long John Silver's nearly 1,450 locations to our existing system of 2,800 Arby's restaurants will propel us overnight to the top tier in the quick-service restaurant industry," said Nelson Peltz, chairman and chief executive of Triarc Companies Inc. of New York.
Triarc would become the sixth-largest U.S. fast-food company, according to Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based restaurant consulting firm. McDonald's Corp. heads the list at $14.2 billion in domestic systemwide sales in 1993.
Once the deal closes, Triarc plans to begin making menus from both chains available at the company-owned Arby's and Long John Silver's restaurants. Franchisees will be encouraged to do the same. Restaurants will display logos of both companies.
The idea is to appeal to consumers seeking variety as well as convenience. It may also give Triarc more leverage when negotiating for supplies, advertising space and prime real estate locations.
Triarc also believes Long John Silver's is a good partner for Arby's because the Lexington, Ky.-based seafood chain has a strong dinner menu while Arby's sandwiches appeal to lunchtime diners.