Fairfax buys majority stake in The Keg

Fairfax Financial Holdings has made another acquisition in Canada's casual dining sector, a majority stake in the company that operates Keg steakhouse restaurants.

Fairfax Financial Holdings has signed a deal to buy a majority stake in the company that operates the Keg steakhouse chain restaurants.

Fairfax will buy 51 per cent of Keg Restaurants Ltd. from its president and CEO, David Aisenstat, who will own the remaining 49 per cent and continue to lead the team that operates the business.

Financial terms of Aisenstat's deal with Fairfax weren't disclosed.

Keg Restaurants Ltd. pays a royalty on sales to Keg Royalties Income Fund which holds trademarks and other intellectual property used by the restaurant chain.

The Keg has more than 100 restaurants employing about 9,500 people and about $500 million of annual sales.

It's the latest restaurant deal for Fairfax, which is a Toronto-based investment company that's been diversifying beyond is main focus in property and casualty insurance.

Fairfax recently agreed to sell Prime Restaurants to Cara Operations for an undisclosed amount.

The Cara-Prime deal will put East Side Mario's, Casey's and other restaurant chains under the same organization that owns Swiss Chalet, Milestones Grill & Bar, Montana's Cookhouse, and Kelsey's.

Fairfax's deal with Cara was described by Cara as a strategic financing transaction, that will result in Bill Gregson becoming president and CEO of the combined Cara Operations.

Gregson was formerly the executive chairman of The Brick, a national furniture chain that received backing from Fairfax before the business was sold to rival Leon's.


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