Next Level Burger buys Veggie Grill to create plant-based restaurant giant
Plant-based burger chain Next Level Burger acquired Veggie Grill yesterday, valuing the combined company at more than $80 million post-deal close, CEO Matt de Gruyter tells Axios.
Driving the news: The transaction brings Next Level Burger's location count to 27, making it the largest plant-based restaurant chain in the world.
Details: The deal was financed through existing cash, Gruyter tells Axios.
- Portland, Ore.-based Next Level bought Veggie Grill from investor VegInvest, which saved Veggie Grill from bankruptcy and will become a shareholder in Next Level Burger, per the announcement.
- Veggie Grill will be rebranded as "Veggie Grill by Next Level."
What they're saying: "Veggie Grill by Next Level will mean all sorts of changes: organic produce, non-GMO ingredients and ensuring living wages for our many team members across the country," de Gruyter said in a statement.
Catch up fast: Next Level Burger wants to be America's first plant-based restaurant IPO, de Gruyter previously told Axios.
- The company has raised about $20 million to date.
Yes, but: "We are keeping our options open, but also preparing for that path," he tells Axios for this report.
What's next: Following this deal, the restaurant chain still plans to raise capital — which it previously pegged at eight figures — to move toward its goal of 1,000 locations, de Gruyter says.
- When asked about future acquisitions, de Gruyter says, "stay tuned."