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Franchises > Restaurants

Macaroni Grill Sold for the Second Time in Two Years

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In two years, Macaroni Grill's value decreased by $47 million.

On Tuesday, Ignite Restaurant Group announced that it was selling Romano's Macaroni Grill to Redrock Partners for $8 million in cash. The news comes just two years after Ignite acquired the Italian food chain for $55 million from the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital.

"We continue to believe in the underlying strengths of the Macaroni Grill business," Ignite CEO Ray Blanchette said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the brand was unable to deliver, in a timely manner, on the milestones we established."

Related: Why the International Franchise Association Is Suing Seattle

Blanchette said that with the sale, Ignite plans to focus on the restaurant group's other chains: Joe's Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern & Tap. The transaction is expected to close within the next 30 days.

Macaroni Grill had struggled to thrive under Ignite's ownership in the last two years. From the time Ignite bought the company in April 2013 to September 2014, the chain went from 210 locations to only 167. In the company's third-quarter report, released in October, comparable sales at the chain had decreased 8.5 percent from the previous year, in part due to Ignite's decision to end heavy discounting campaigns.  

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