GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators and developers, today announced that on Friday October 19, 2018 the National Economic Council of the Bahamas approved a proposal submitted by Disney Cruise Line Island Development Ltd. to acquire and develop property owned in partnership between the Company and The Related Group.

The Company through an investment partnership managed by The Related Group owns 765 acres of fee property, known as Lighthouse Point, on the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas. The partnership has entered into a confidential agreement to sell a majority of its 765-acre peninsula to Disney, subject to Government approvals as customary in the Bahamas. Disney has previously reported that it is prepared to invest up to $400 million in the property for the development of a cruise ship port facility, in conjunction with plans to double the capacity of Disney Cruise Lines in the next five years.

“Few organizations in the world possess the financial resources, development expertise, global track record of preserving the natural environmental and the ability to showcase cultural heritage like Disney,” stated Robert Schermer CEO. “We are proud of the association and confident that Disney will be a world-class steward of Lighthouse Point, creating a transformational economic opportunity for many deserving people of South Eleuthera”, added Schermer.

Proceeds from the pending transaction will be used for general corporate purposes including; new restaurant development, acquisitions, dividend distributions and stock buy-backs.

The Company reported record sales and EBITDA in the first nine months of the year and believes solid growth will continue through 2018 and 2019, driven by new restaurant development, reimaged locations and acquisitions.

The Company 2018 Full-Year Outlook: Solid Growth Ahead

  • Sales growth of +40% to 50%
  • Income from Operations growth of +55% to 65%
  • Net Earnings growth of +40% to 50%
  • EBITDA growth of +40% to 50%
  • Common stock dividend growth +50% to 100%

Meritage continues to distinguish itself as a leader and innovator in the quick service restaurant segment, striving for best in class results through a performance based culture committed to operational excellence, strategic acquisitions and real estate development.

About Meritage

Meritage Hospitality Group is one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, with 311 restaurants in operation located in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Meritage is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, operating with a workforce of approximately 10,000 employees. The Company has approximately 6.2 million (basic) common shares outstanding. The Company’s public filings can be viewed at www.otcmarkets.com, under the stock symbol MHGU, or the Company’s website www.meritagehospitality.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Certain information in this news release, particularly information regarding future economic performance and finances, and plans, expectations and objectives of management, constitutes forward-looking statements.  Factors set forth in our Safe Harbor Statement, in addition to other possible factors not listed, could affect the Company’s actual results and cause such results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements.  Please review the Company’s Safe Harbor Statement at http://www.meritagehospitality.com.

Robert E. Schermer, Jr., CEO
Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc.     
616-776-2600 Ext 1012