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Owner of Swiss Chalet buying St-Hubert for $537 million

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Mar 31st, 2016

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St-Hubert logo. Photo via Facebook/StHubert.

The Quebec-based St-Hubert restaurant business has agreed to be acquired by the owner of the Swiss Chalet chain for $537 million.

In addition to 117 restaurants, Cara Operations Ltd. will acquire two food manufacturing plants, two distribution centres and a real estate portfolio.

Cara says St-Hubert will fit strategically with its business, which includes numerous restaurant brands including Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s and Milestones.

Cara currently has 1,010 franchised and corporate restaurants, including 37 located internationally.

The Toronto-area company, based in Vaughan, says it has a limited retail presence in Quebec and will use St-Hubert’s head office in Laval as its Quebec base.

Cara also sees St-Hubert’s food manufacturing business – which makes two-thirds of its sales through external customers such as Sobeys, Loblaw, Costco and Metro – as a major growth opportunity.

“The acquisition of St-Hubert is an excellent strategic fit for both companies,” Cara chair and CEO Bill Gregson said in a joint statement.

“This transaction gives St-Hubert the opportunity to drive its restaurant growth through the addition of Cara brands in Quebec and to drive a national retail food program for Cara, based in Québec, utilizing the existing manufacturing facilities and supplier base.”

Jean-Pierre Leger, St-Hubert chairman and CEO, said the will provides its employees with career opportunities in Quebec “since it will enable us to carry out major expansions of our food manufacturing programs and sales throughout Canada.”

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