Restaurant franchisor and operator MTY Food Group has reached a definitive merger agreement to purchase all issued and outstanding common shares of BBQ Holdings in a transaction valued at nearly $200m.

Under the agreement, MTY will pay $17.25 for each BBQ Holdings share. The deal value also includes BBQ Holdings’ net debt.

BBQ Holdings franchises as well as operates casual and fast casual dining restaurants across 37 states in the US, Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The company counts Famous Dave’s, Village Inn, Barrio Queen and Granite City as its flagship restaurant brands.

Currently, BBQ Holdings operates more than 100 corporate-owned restaurants and more than 200 franchised locations.

BBQ Holdings CEO Jeff Crivello said: “We are thrilled to partner with MTY and its talented team of restaurant operators.  Over the past four years, we have significantly grown revenue and our restaurant portfolio while building a world-class team of entrepreneurs.

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“With more than 80 brands, MTY brings vast buying power and a team of industry leaders who will provide additional support to our franchise partners.”

The deal will add nine new restaurant brands to MTY’s portfolio and further diversify its restaurant concepts. It will also strengthen its presence in the US by expanding its footprint to more than 3,900 locations in the country.

MTY CEO Eric Lefebvre said: “This transaction represents another key acquisition for MTY as we further scale and enhance our existing US portfolio through the addition of nine unique brands.

“The transaction combines highly complementary businesses, including BBQ Holdings’ exciting casual and fast casual brands.

“BBQ Holdings’ restaurants are well established within each of their respective markets with a strong network of franchise partners, well-run corporate-owned locations and a best-in-class management team.”

Completion of the deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Once complete, BBQ Holdings will become a subsidiary of MTY and be de-listed from NASDAQ.