Dine Brands Global Inc. has purchased 69 Applebee’s Grill and Bar restaurants from franchisee Apple Gold Group, the Glendale parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP announced Thursday.
Dine Brands intends to own and operate the restaurants in North and South Carolina but may refranchise them to new owners in the future.
“I’m pleased with this transaction and confident in our plans to evolve and selectively refine our restaurant portfolio,” Applebee’s President John Cywinski said in a statement. “We are consistently reviewing our portfolio and making strategic decisions to better position our brand for the future.”
The move comes after Dine Brands and another of its franchise owners, RMH Franchise Holdings Inc., settled a prolonged legal battle over RMH’s bankruptcy proceedings as well as unpaid royalty fees and store closures.
As a part of the settlement, RMH has agreed to pay back the outstanding royalties amounting to $12.5 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
RMH also won final bankruptcy court approval on Tuesday to continue reorganizing its operations. The company has shut down 24 restaurants during bankruptcy and currently operates 135 locations, according to the Journal.
Shares of Dine Brands fell $2.84, or 3 percent, Friday to close at $82.19 on the New York Stock Exchange.