Joe's Crab Shack up for sale amidst reports of possible bankruptcy

HOUSTON - The owner of Joe's Crab Shack is attempting to sell the chain amidst reports that they could soon be filing for bankruptcy.

Bloomberg is reporting that according to sources familiar with the situation Ignite Restaurant Group could be filing for bankruptcy as soon as next week.

Houston based Ignite Restaurant Group announced in a press release last month that it was seeking to sell the business, which consists of Joe's Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern & Tap, either as a whole or as two separate sales.

At the same time the company also announced a new CEO.

In March 2017 the company's stock was delisted from the NASDAQ  and its common stock was suspended according to a federal filing.

From Ignite Restaurant Group (April 3, 2017)...

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc. (the “Company”) today announced that its Board of Directors, working together with its management team and financial advisors, Piper Jaffray, has commenced a process to pursue the sale of the Company’s business, which could be sold as an entirety or through the separate sales of its two restaurant brands, Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap.

The Company also announced changes in its senior management team. Robert S. Merritt, who has served on the Company’s board of directors since March 2014 and as its Chief Executive Officer since November 2015, has resigned from those positions, but will continue to serve as a consultant to the Company. Jonathan Tibus, a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal, has been elected Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Most recently, Mr. Tibus served as CEO of Last Call Operating Co., which owned and managed over 80 restaurants under the brand names of Champps, Bailey’s, and Fox & Hound. He also recently served as Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) to Quiznos, a sandwich restaurant franchisor with over 2,000 domestic and international stores, and as Chief Operating Officer (COO) to Max & Erma’s, a $150 million chain of casual dining restaurants.

The Board of Directors also elected Brad Leist, the Company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, to the additional position of Chief Administrative Officer, and promoted Steve Metzger, the Company’s Vice President and General Counsel, to Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the Company. Ellen Clarry will continue as a member of the senior executive team in her role as Chief Supply Officer.

Paul R. Vigano, Chairman of Ignite Restaurant Group, stated, "We would like to thank Bob for his contributions to Ignite and for him agreeing to continue on in a consulting capacity to ensure a smooth transition. We are pleased that Jon Tibus will be joining the Company. His background and experience is exactly what we need right now – we believe Jon Tibus and the rest of the management team are the right people to lead the Company through our ongoing review of strategic alternatives, including the sale process we announced today.”

There can be no assurance that the process that the Company is undertaking will be successful. In addition, the Company cannot predict the terms or timing of any transaction that it may undertake or whether any such transaction will result in any proceeds for the holders of the Company’s common stock.

About Ignite Restaurant Group

Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, operates a portfolio of restaurant concepts, including Joe's Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap, in a diverse set of markets across the United States. Each brand offers a variety of high-quality food in a distinctive, casual, high-energy atmosphere. For more information on Ignite and its distinctive brands, visit www.igniterestaurants.com.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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