Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chanticleer Holdings signs lease for another Hooters in South Africa

Charlotte-based investment company Chanticleer Holdings continues to expand its Hooters empire in Pretoria, South Africa, announcing Tuesday it has signed a lease for a fifth restaurant in the country. 

Chanticleer, a Hooters franchisee focused on owning Hooters in other countries, said plans call for the restaurant to be built and open by the end of this year. Chanticleer said it has signed a five-year lease, with an option to renew, for the restaurant.

The deal brings to eight the company's total number of international Hooters restaurants in Africa, Hungary and Australia, where one of its Hooters is under construction and expected to open this year. Chanticleer also has Hooters expansion plans for Brazil and this month signed a letter of intent to acquire a Hooters in Nottingham, England.

As it's grown in South Africa, Chanticleer has faced setbacks. In September 2012, Nasdaq halted trading of the company’s stock after Chanticleer disclosed that financial statements for its South African Hooters operations had not been audited for fiscal 2011. Chanticleer launched an investigation, after which it said it found its former South African chief financial officer had fabricated financial statements and misappropriated company funds, according to Chanticleer’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The money has been repaid and the incident reported to South African and U.S. authorities, Chanticleer CEO Mike Pruitt told the Observer.

In August, Chanticleer announced a new venture: It signed an agreement to acquire Charlotte-based American Roadside Burgers, a deal expected to close Sept. 30. American Roadside has two outlets in Charlotte -- one on Church Street uptown, one in SouthPark -- and one each in Columbia, Greenville, S.C., and Smithville, N.Y.

Chanticleer plans to open American Roadside Burgers locations in other countries and the U.S., Pruitt said.