Bob Evans CEO: Restaurants will remain open

Though Bob Evans has sold of all its restaurant locations, customers won’t see their neighborhood restaurant close anytime soon, according to the company CEO.

Bob Evans Restaurants announced Tuesday it has sold all of its restaurant locations to a private equity firm for $565 million. Golden Gate Capital bought the restaurant chain, and will retain the Bob Evans leadership team to guide the transition as it takes part of the company private, the company said.

» RELATED: 5 things to know about Bob Evans selling restaurants

On Wednesday, Saed Mohseni, CEO of Bob Evans Farms Inc., told this news organization that customers can expect their local Bob Evans to remain open.

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“As I sit here today, I can say there are no closures coming,” he said. “It will be business as usual at all Bob Evans.”

Mohseni will become CEO of Bob Evans Restaurants following the transition. The restaurant chain has locations in Centerville, Moraine, Dayton, Hamilton, Middletown, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, Xenia and Springboro. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. also owns and operates several fresh pork plants, including a large operational one in Xenia.

Mike Townsley, president of BEF Foods, will assume the role of president and chief executive officer of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. following the closing of the Bob Evans Restaurants transaction.

Mohseni told this newspaper the plant — which is one of the company’s larger locations — will not be impacted by the change in corporate structure. Back in 2014, the company added 2,600 square feet to the plant and upgraded some equipment. The plant also makes meat products that are sold in major grocery retailers.

» RELATED: Bob Evans to close 27 restaurants (April 2016)

Moving forward, company executives said they hope the sale will push the company “to get back on the growth path again.” Shares of Bob Evans Farm Inc. increased by more than 20 percent on Wednesday, and hit a 52-week high at $57.94.

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“We are on a solid track for success, and the innovative work already underway to fulfill our brand promise, to connect with our heritage, and to leverage our deep roots in preparing and serving farm-fresh foods, will continue and expand under our independent partnership with Golden Gate Capital,” said current Bob Evans Restaurants President John Fisher, who will remain in place to oversee the completion of the transaction.

The company will continue to be headquartered in its New Albany location, just outside of Columbus.

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