Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets and president of Landry’s restaurants, has decided to dive deeper into the food business by merging with Waitr, a fast-growing Louisiana startup.
“We have seen firsthand the impact Waitr has had on our restaurants, the incremental sales growth it drives, and the positive feedback we receive from our customers,” shared Fertitta. “Our brands and customers are critical to our success, and Waitr’s high quality of service reflects well on our brands.”
Fertitta’s acquisition company Landcadia Holdings is acquiring Waitr for $308 million, making this one of, if not the biggest, tech exit in Louisiana history.
Waitr is based in Lake Charles, Louisiana and has been rapidly growing since its 2014 launch. The on-demand food delivery service is available in 36 cities throughout Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Georgia.
Company founder Chris Meaux spoke at the Silicon Bayou 100 in 2016, an annual event highlighting the most active and influential people in the Louisiana tech and startup scene. Meaux made the list along with other successful entrepreneurs making a positive impact on the state.
Meaux and Waitr executives will remain in their current roles at what will now be called Waitr Holdings, which will be listed on the Nasdaq stock market.
According to Reuters, all equity holders of Waitr at the close of the transaction will be paid at least $50 million in cash and the remaining in stocks.