$1.5B restaurant chain quietly moves HQ here

J. Alexander’s buyer settling in at O’Charley’s home office

In economic development terms, the loss of two publicly traded restaurant headquarters may turn out to not be such a bad thing.

The holding company that seven weeks ago completed its purchase of O’Charley’s and on Monday announced plans to buy J. Alexander’s has recently moved its corporate offices from Denver to the 100 Oaks complex that had served as O’Charley’s headquarters.

Just what that move has entailed so far for American Blue Ribbon Holdings, which is 55 percent-owned by title insurer Fidelity National Financial, is unclear. Attempts to reach company officials to gauge the scope of operations or the number of people that have relocated from Colorado were unsuccessful.

But if the move to the 60,000-square-foot property owned by O’Charley’s is a full-fledged relocation, it’s likely to be a boon to Middle Tennessee: Should Fidelity National complete its planned $72 million buyout of J. Alexander’s, American Blue Ribbon’s revenues will grow to $1.5 billion. With O’Charley’s, Max & Erma’s and Village Inn among the brands under its umbrella, the company already runs more than 650 locations across the country and employs more than 31,000 people, requiring a larger hefty operational base than O’Charley’s alone.

As part of its J. Alexander’s deal, Fidelity National Financial also plans for the first time to list on a stock exchange a class of shares of American Blue Ribbon. Fidelity National, which owns 55 percent of American Blue Ribbon, will retain control of the company through a separate class of stock.