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The Cheesecake Factory to buy Fox Restaurant, remaining stake in North Italia

The Cheesecake Factory Inc. has agreed to acquire multiconcept dining operator Fox Restaurant Concepts LLC and the remaining stake in North Italia for a total of $353 million, according to a July 31 release.

Under the agreement, The Cheesecake Factory will acquire outstanding North Italia shares for around $130 million in cash, bringing the total consideration to $174 million, including $44 million previously invested. Meanwhile, the company will acquire Fox Restaurants for about $178 million in cash at closing and $45 million due ratably over the next four years.

The transactions are expected to boost cash flow generation over time, with the new combined entity expected to reach $250 million in pro forma revenues in 2020. The Cheesecake Factory also said the move reinforces its strong position in experiential dining.

The North Italia deal will bring the number of The Cheesecake Factory locations to 21 at closing.

"This partnership will be the first of its kind for the restaurant industry. David Overton and I quickly realized the magic occurring between our organizations while we worked through North Italia's integration," Fox Restaurant Founder and CEO Sam Fox said in a statement. He added that The Cheesecake Factory is the "right partner" to be with to allow the company to innovate while having infrastructure and capital to scale.

Fox Restaurant will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Cheesecake Factory upon completion of the transaction. It will continue to be led by Fox from its headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz.

Meanwhile, North Italia's operations will be transferred to The Cheesecake Factory's headquarters in Calabasas, Calif. to help boost its scale nationwide.

Fox Restaurant operates several restaurant brands, including Flower Child, Culinary Dropout, Blanco and The Henry, in more than 60 locations and has a staff of over 5,000. North Italia is a Fox Restaurant brand that specializes in modern Italian cuisine and currently operates 20 restaurants in nine states and Washington D.C.