Cara Acquires Prime Through Fairfax Deal

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VAUGHAN, Ont. — Vaughan, Ont.-based Cara Operations Limited has completed a strategic transaction with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited to acquire Prime Restaurants Inc., following news of a possible deal in September.

Prime, which owns East Side Mario’s, Casey’s, Prime Pubs and Bier Markt, will now become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cara, which owns Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Milestones Grill & Bar, Montana’s Cookhouse and Kelsey’s Neighbourhood Bar & Grill.

Bill Gregson, who was most recently executive chairman, president and CEO of The Brick Group, will become the president and CEO of the combined enterprise; John A. Rothschild will continue as the CEO of Prime and will be the executive vice-chair of the Board at Cara.

“This transaction creates an outstanding opportunity for Prime and the entire Prime family. Becoming part of Cara will create new and dynamic opportunities to grow the Prime brands and participate in an exciting future with Cara and Fairfax,” said Rothschild.

Cara attempted to acquire Prime in late 2011 for $59 million, but was outbid by Fairfax, which ended up acquiring the company for about $71 million.

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