April 28, 2014

Margaritaville Restaurants Bought by Brazilian Firm

Margaritaville Enterprises has sold its Margaritaville restaurants to Brazilian firm International Meal Company.

Brazilian-based International Meal Co. has purchased a dozen Margaritaville restaurants and plans to grow the chain.

Margaritaville Enterprises sold the restaurants this month for an undisclosed price. Margaritaville’s Orlando-based hospitality division ran the restaurants, employing about 40 corporate employees here.

About 25 of those employees will now work for International Meal Co., while the rest will remain with Margaritaville and handle services such as marketing.

No workers are losing their jobs, the companies said.

“Not only does it stand for more growth domestically, now those employees have the opportunity to go around the world as part of a larger operation,” Margaritaville Enterprises Chief Executive Officer John Cohlan said.

The purchase includes 11 Margaritaville restaurants, including one at Universal CityWalk. It also includes LandShark Bar and Grilles in Atlantic City, N.J., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“The motivation here was really about growth,” Cohlan said. “They’re better positioned to grow Margaritaville than we really would be domestically.”

Cohlan and Gavilian declined to discuss sales for the chain, founded by singer Jimmy Buffett and named after one of his signature songs.

International Meal Co. will have exclusive rights to develop and own Margaritavilles in the United States and Latin America. This year, Margaritaville will open restaurants in Brazil and the Dominican Republic and in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Read more at the Orlando Sentinel.

Hat tip @sawman71

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