ARIZONA NEWS

Cheesecake Factory buying Phoenix-based Fox restaurant empire

Jul 31, 2019, 4:17 PM | Updated: 8:18 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Kevin Stone)...
(KTAR News Photo/Kevin Stone)
(KTAR News Photo/Kevin Stone)

PHOENIX – The Phoenix-based restaurant empire behind Culinary Dropout, Zinburger, Doughbird, North Italia and more has been gobbled up by The Cheesecake Factory.

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated announced Wednesday it has reached an agreement to buy Fox Restaurant Concepts for $308 million in cash at closing and another $45 million due over the next four years.

Sam Fox will continue to lead the company he founded from its Phoenix headquarters.

“With our aligned cultures and philosophies, The Cheesecake Factory is the right partner to embrace our creative spirit, enabling us to innovate concepts, while providing the infrastructure and capital to scale,” Fox said in a press release.

Fox got his start when he opened Wildflower in Tucson in 1998. His empire has grown to around 50 locations across the U.S. and has been responsible for some of the Valley’s most popular restaurants, with each brand known for its distinct concept.

In addition to the restaurants mentioned above, Blanco, The Henry, The Arrogant Butcher, Flower Child, Olive & Ivy and The Greene House complete the current Fox lineup.

The Cheesecake Factory, which is based in Calabasas Hills, California, and operates more than 200 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, made minority investments in North Italia and Flower Child in 2016.

“We realized the true potential of this relationship as we worked through the integration process for our planned acquisition of North Italia,” Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton said in the release.

“It became evident that the combination of two of the most experiential and entrepreneurial restaurant companies could drive greater value as one organization.”

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Cheesecake Factory buying Phoenix-based Fox restaurant empire