Keg Restaurants Owner Sells Majority Stake to Fairfax

The Keg | BCBusiness
Fairfax has purchased 51 per cent of Keg Restaurants Ltd.

The Keg Restaurants will likely have new ownership come January

Local restaurant entrepreneur David Aisenstat has sold 51 per cent of his common shares in Keg Restaurants Ltd. to Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

“Fairfax will bring additional expertise and resources to The Keg and we are excited at the opportunities available to The Keg moving forward through this relationship” said Aisenstat, The Keg’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Aisenstat will continue to own the remaining 49 per cent of common shares and along  the rest of the current management team will remain in operational control.

Fairfax recently agreed to sell Prime Restaurants Inc. to Cara Operations Ltd. The deal, which is expected to close in early 2014, encompases restaurants including East Side Mario’s, Casey’s, multiple Irish pubs and Belgian-style brasseries. 

“Fairfax is a well-known and proven investor in the Canadian market,” said Kip Woodward, chairman of The Keg Royalties Income Fund. “With the addition of Fairfax to the Keg team, The Keg is well positioned and has a solid foundation for continued growth, which will benefit the fund and its unitholders.”

The Keg, whhich is headquartered in Vancouver, currently has over 100 restaurants, with approximately 9,500 employees and system sales of approximately $500 million. Aisenstat previously served on the board of directors and executive cmmittee of Keg Restaurants Ltd. from 1982 until 1987 before purchasing The Keg in 1997. He has also served as president of the Hy’s steakhouse chain (Hy’s of Canada Ltd.), a company that was founded by his father.