Global franchising company FAT Brands is to expand its restaurant brand portfolio with an agreement to acquire Italian quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain Fazoli’s for $130m.

FAT Brands will acquire Fazoli’s from funds managed by Sentinel Capital Partners.

Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, US, Fazoli’s is said to be the largest Italian QSR chain in the country with approximately 220 restaurants across 28 states.

The restaurant company is known for its offerings of pasta entrees, Submarinos sandwiches, salads, pizza, desserts and breadsticks.

Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard said: “We have had an outstanding year and we couldn’t be more pleased to join forces with FAT Brands, a company that has the same growth-oriented mentality as us at Fazoli’s.

“From co-branding to virtual kitchens to menu development opportunities, we see great value in being a part of FAT Brands.”

FAT Brands plans to fund the acquisition with cash by issuing new notes from its securitisation facilities.

The transaction is expected to close by mid-December.

The deal will add Fazoli’s existing restaurant units as well as a 100 unit pipeline to the FAT Brands portfolio.

Upon completion, FAT Brands will have a total of 2,300 franchised and corporate-owned stores across the globe. With this deal, the company anticipates more than $2.1bn in systemwide sales in 2022.

FAT Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn said: “Fazoli’s has a great growth story, in particular, over the last year. They continue to surpass sales expectations across the board.

“We have been eyeing this category for some time; however, we were waiting for the right brand – one that is high-growth, with almost all restaurants having drive-thru access, in addition to, the synergies that we will achieve adding Fazoli’s to our portfolio of brands.”

For this transaction, Duff & Phelps Securities served as financial advisor to FAT Brands and Foley & Lardner acted as its legal counsel.

North Point Mergers and Acquisitions acted as the financial adviser to Sentinel Capital Partners while Winthrop & Weinstine served as its legal counsel.

In another development, US-based food-ordering software company Olo has expanded its partnership with Uber to bolster the on-demand delivery service for its restaurant partners.

Under the partnership, Uber’s direct technology will be integrated with Olo’s Dispatch delivery solution.