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Fairfax Financial in talks to buy Cara stake


obtuse_investor
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This could just be a rumour...

 

According to industry sources, Fairfax Financial Holdings is eyeing an investment in Cara Operations Ltd. — the owner of Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s and Kelsey’s — to pave the way for a possible merger with its Prime Restaurant Group.

 

The news comes two years after Fairfax trumped Cara’s takeover bid for Prime, whose restaurant chains include East Side Mario’s, Casey’s, Prime Pubs and Bier Markt.

 

Cara, whose 700 restaurants also include Montana’s, Milestones and Coza! Tuscan Grill, has been without a permanent chief executive since Don Robinson retired from the company in May.

 

“With [board chair and CEO] Don [Robinson] leaving, and the changes at the board, there have been ongoing discussions between Fairfax and Cara’s board,” said one industry source familiar with the discussions.

 

Complete story: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Fairfax+Financial+talks+Cara+stake/8922052/story.html

 

What I find confounding is that Fairfax is willing to buy Canadian restaurant businesses that succeed on the backs of overly indebted Canadian consumers, which is largely fueled by the soaring Canadian real estate market-- something Fairfax is well aware of.

 

Wouldn't it be better to pick up this business couple years after the real estate market comes back in line, and restaurants are selling at discounted prices?

 

What am I missing?

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I'm sure this helps Fairfax's interest:

 

Another source said turnaround specialist Bill Gregson, the former Forzani Group president who resuscitated The Brick, a former Fairfax investment before it was sold to rival Leon’s last year, has been floated as a potential CEO to oversee a merged Prime and Cara.
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I'm sure this helps Fairfax's interest:

 

Another source said turnaround specialist Bill Gregson, the former Forzani Group president who resuscitated The Brick, a former Fairfax investment before it was sold to rival Leon’s last year, has been floated as a potential CEO to oversee a merged Prime and Cara.

 

So much for Bill's retirement!  I guess he'll be back on our stage next year with the panel.  ;D  Cheers!

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