Long-time Kentucky brand beginning life as a separate company under new ownership
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2012) – Long John Silver’s company officials joined by local leaders and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson today for a ribbon cutting an unveiling of its new worldwide corporate headquarters at Williamsburg Plaza in Louisville.
The new headquarters will be home to approximately 70 employees and represents a $3.8 million investment in the Commonwealth.
“I’m proud that LJS Partners, the new owners of Long John Silver’s, chose to keep such a world famous brand in the Commonwealth,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “This is a testament to Kentucky’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.”
“Long John Silver’s could have chosen to base its headquarters anywhere in the world, but the company has a tradition here in the Commonwealth, and I’m glad they call Louisville home,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “We’re happy to have such a respected industry leader as a corporate citizen of Kentucky.”
Newly formed LJS Partners acquired Long John Silver’s from Louisville-based YUM! Brands in December. YUM! Brands sold Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants individually to separate buyers. Both companies decided to keep their headquarters in Kentucky, with A&W locating in Lexington and Long John Silver’s in Louisville.
“We’re excited that we will be able to keep as many as 70 jobs here in Louisville with the promise of more to come as we work to grow our business and enlarge our footprint, both domestically and internationally,” LJS Partners President and CEO Mike Kern said. “Kentucky is our birthplace and many of our employees have been with us from the beginning. We look forward to continuing a long and productive relationship here at home.”
Long John Silver’s was founded in Lexington in 1969 but moved its headquarters to Louisville in 2003 when it became part of YUM! Brands. The company has grown to become America’s largest quick-serve seafood chain with more than 1,300 franchised restaurants and 8,400 employees worldwide.
“Congratulations to the Long John Silver’s team for successfully purchasing this business and keeping it in Louisville, also keeping important jobs here,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This purchase and subsequent investment in Louisville underscore the strength and importance of one of our core business clusters, the food and beverage sector.”
To encourage LJS Partners to keep the headquarters operation in Kentucky, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved LJS Partners for tax incentives up to $1.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment Program. The performance-based incentive can be earned over the term of the agreements through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting specific job and wage targets.
“I am always grateful to a new business that creates new jobs in my district and adds to the economic growth of my community,” said state Sen. Denise Harper Angel, of Louisville.
“It’s good to see LJS Partners move quickly to establish its corporate home in Louisville, making it another high point in what our community has been able to achieve in the restaurant industry,” said Rep. Larry Clark, of Louisville. “I look forward to working with the company for years to come.”
“We are very pleased to retain a Kentucky-born business and America’s largest quick-serve seafood chain in Louisville,” said Eileen Pickett, executive vice president of Greater Louisville Inc. “Long John Silver’s is another great example of the strides being made in the region’s food and beverage innovation cluster.”