Brazilian casual and quick-service restaurant operator International Meal announces JV with Margaritaville Enterprises to enter US market; under agreement, IMC to purchase US restaurant assets of Margaritaville
April 7, 2014
– International Meal Company (Bovespa:IMCH3) is pleased to announce its first joint venture entry into the United States restaurant market. In an effort to expand and strengthen its existing strategic relationship, IMC has joined forces with Margaritaville Enterprises, a leading destination restaurant company. Under the agreement, IMC is purchasing domestic restaurant assets of Margaritaville, including the iconic Las Vegas location at the famed Flamingo hotel in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, and the operations of twelve signature Margaritaville and LandShark Bar and Grill locations throughout the U.S. As part of its strategic alliance with IMC, Margaritaville will continue to play an on-going role in the restaurant business and provide branding, development, and other services.
IMC has successfully worked with the Margaritaville brand since 2010. IMC currently owns and operates Margaritaville franchise locations at airports in Puerto Rico and Panama with future locations coming to Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Viracopos, Brazil in 2014. Additionally, in conjunction with Margaritaville, IMC has future plans to open additional restaurants across the country, including airports and other captive market locations. As part of this strategic alliance, IMC will have exclusive rights to develop and own Margaritaville venues in the United States and Latin America. At these current and future locations, IMC looks forward to continuing to work within the overall brand management framework of Margaritaville Enterprises that has been successfully created over the years.
"Music to me is the true universal language. The song Margaritaville has taken me to places I never dreamt I would go. Now our success in the restaurant business is taking us all on a new and exciting voyage with our new friends and partners at IMC," Jimmy Buffett said of the alliance. "As a sailor and a flyer, I have always been interested in exploring new ports and new places, and now Margaritaville restaurants will follow in that wake. Our relationship with Javier Gavilan - CEO, Juan Carlos Torres – Chairman, and all the people at IMC over the past several years in our operations in the Caribbean and Central America have set the stage for this new phase and I only see good things for our friends, our employees, and most of all our customers happening as a result of this arrangement. To paraphrase a song I am a little familiar with, we are taking our attitudes to new latitudes. So, let the fin begin."
Javier Gavilan, CEO of IMC, commented, "This strategic alliance is about growing a powerful brand, in segments where we have a lot of experience and a proven track record; airports will be our first priority to develop this great brand and we have already found some very exciting opportunities. We have been partners with Margaritaville in Panama and Puerto Rico. As we got to know Margaritaville's outstanding team through that relationship, we found they shared IMC's values of integrity, concern for employees, and commitment to delivering exceptional value and restaurant experience to our customers. Add to this the company's powerful brand presence, growth potential, and the loyalty the brand inspires in its customers, and we found in Margaritaville the ideal platform for establishing our U.S. presence as a leader in the captive market sector of the restaurant business and food and beverage business at airports."
Margaritaville Enterprises' CEO John Cohlan added, "We have built all of our businesses on great strategic partnerships. As we came to know Javier and the IMC group better from developing our international locations, we realized what a great opportunity it would be for both organizations to expand our partnership and grow our businesses together."
International Meal Company Holdings S.A. (Bovespa:IMCH3) is the leading multi-brand casual and quick-service restaurant operator in Latin America with more than 386 company-owned restaurants and approximately 13,000 employees in Brazil, the Caribbean, and Mexico. IMC's footprint is focused on captive markets with high underlying growth with a strong presence in airports, highways, and shopping malls.
In Brazil, IMC operates its flagship brands Frango Assado and Viena, in the highway and shopping mall sector. These two restaurant brands combined have almost 100 years in the market and are well recognized by customers for their quality of food and service. For the airport segment, IMC has a portfolio of restaurant concepts and well-recognized brands ensuring that they deploy the best format to meet the needs of their customers and the requirements of airport operators.
The company was started in 2006 with the vision of becoming the leading provider of quick quality meals for customers in captive markets in Brazil and Latin America with an aggressive growth plan consolidating highly fragmented markets. Leading the experienced management team is CEO, Javier Gavilan, who has been with the company since its inception. Since 2006, IMC has worked with Advent International, an experienced global private equity firm with over US$24 billion in cumulative capital raised, successfully implementing the company's expansion strategy.
IMC has successfully pursued a strategy of rapid and profitable growth, driven by organic expansion of operations and the accretive acquisition of high quality casual dining chains in the segments and geographic markets in which they operate. In the past 7 years, IMC has opened over 200 new stores and acquired and integrated more than 10 companies in Brazil and Latin America.
Margaritaville delivers an experience where guests can enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of their favorite vacation destination, whatever their latitude. Inspired by the lyrics and philosophy of Jimmy Buffett, this leading lifestyle brand is comprised of restaurants, retail shops, consumer products, casinos, resorts, vacation ownership, and a national radio station on SiriusXM.
Since launching its first location in Key West in 1987, Margaritaville has expanded to the most popular U.S. and international destinations, including: Orlando, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, Nashville, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Chicago, Atlantic City and Destin. International locations can be found in the Caribbean, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, Canada, and Australia. LandShark Bar and Grill locations include Myrtle Beach and Atlantic City. New Margaritaville locations are opening this summer in Pigeon Forge, TN and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Margaritaville Hotels and/or Casinos are located in Pensacola Beach, Biloxi, Bossier City, and Las Vegas.