j alexanders

The company that last year bought Logan’s Roadhouse and other brands out of bankruptcy — and that recently moved its headquarters to Houston from Nashville — has agreed to pay $220 million in cash for J. Alexander’s Holdings.

The leaders of SPB Hospitality expect to complete their purchase of J. Alexander’s, which runs 47 restaurants in 16 states, in the fourth quarter. News of the sale comes about 23 months after the directors of J. Alexander’s said they had begun to review the company’s strategic alternatives. That process was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company early this year said it would refocus its attention on a sale.

On Friday, Executive Chairman Lonnie Stout said the SPB deal “provides excellent value to our shareholders.” SPB, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, will pay $14 per share, which is 19 percent more than what Ohio-based investment firm Ancora Advisors offered in April 2019 and 14 percent above the figure J. Alexander’s shares closed Thursday.

"We are honored to acquire these storied brands and look forward to welcoming this experienced team into the SPB family," said SPB CEO Jim Mazany. "This acquisition advances our vision to become the industry leader and a pioneer of hospitality, while developing our portfolio of brands and delivering best-in-class returns, one great restaurant at a time."

Mazany has been leading SPB since September, shortly after Fortress paid $93 million for the former CraftWorks holding company that owned Logan’s, Old Chicago, Rock Bottom and a handful of other brands. The Houston Business Journal recently reported that the company’s home office is now in that city and that its leaders plan to hire at least 100 people.

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