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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from _______ to _______

 

Commission file number: 000-56160

 

AMERGENT HOSPITALITY GROUP, INC.

 

Delaware   84-4842958
(State or Other Jurisdiction of   (IRS Employer
Incorporation or Organization)   Identification Number)

 

7529 Red Oak Lane    
Charlotte, NC   28226
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)   (Zip Code)

 

(704) 366-5122

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

 

N/A

(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)

 

Securities registered under Section 12(g) of the Act: Common Stock

 

Title of each class   Trading Symbol(s)   Name of each exchange on which registered
N/A   N/A   N/A

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer ☐   Accelerated filer ☐
Non-accelerated filer   Smaller reporting company
    Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No

 

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date. There were a total of 15,706,736 shares of Common Stock outstanding as of April 13, 2022.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

 

PART I 4
   
Item 1. Business 4
   
Item 1A. Risk Factors 8
   
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 27
   
Item 2. Properties 27
   
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 27
   
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 27
   
PART II 28
   
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 28
   
Item 6. [RESERVED] 28
   
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 28
   
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 38
   
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 39
   
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 82
   
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 82
   
Item 9B. Other Information 83
   
Item 9C. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections 83
   
PART III 84
   
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 84
   
Item 11. Executive Compensation 87
   
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 91
   
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 92
   
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services 93
   
PART IV 94
   
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 94
   
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary 94

 

2

 

 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Report”) contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are identified by terms and phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” and “will” and similar expressions and include references to assumptions and relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. There are a number of important factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement made by us. These factors include, but are not limited to:

 

  the accuracy of our estimates regarding expenses, capital requirements and need for additional financing;
     
  our ability to operate our business and generate profits. We have not been profitable to date;
     
  decline in global financial markets and economic downturn resulting from the coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic,
     
  impact of business interruptions resulting from the coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic;
     
  our ability to remediate weaknesses we identified in our disclosure controls and procedures and our internal control over financial reporting in a timely enough manner to eliminate the risks posed by such material weaknesses in future periods;
     
  general risk factors affecting the restaurant industry, including current economic climate, costs of labor and food prices;
     
  intensive competition in our industry and competition with national, regional chains and independent restaurant operators;
     
  our ability, and our dependence on the ability of our franchisees, to execute on business plans effectively;
     
  actions of our franchise partners or operating partners which could harm our business;
     
  failure to protect our intellectual property rights, including the brand image of our restaurants;
     
  changes in customer preferences and perceptions;
     
  increases in costs, including food, rent, labor and energy prices;
     
  constraints could affect our ability to maintain competitive cost structure, including, but not limited to labor constraints;
     
  work stoppages at our restaurants or supplier facilities or other interruptions of production;
     
  the risks associated with leasing space subject to long-term non-cancelable leases;
     
  we may not attain our target development goals and aggressive development could cannibalize existing sales;
     
  negative publicity about the ingredients we use, or the potential occurrence of food-borne illnesses or other problems at our restaurants;
     
  breaches of security of confidential consumer information related to our electronic processing of credit and debit card transactions;
     
  we may be unable to reach agreements with various taxing authorities on payment plans to pay off back taxes;
     
  difficulties as acquired restaurants are integrated into our operations and failure to realize anticipated synergies;
     
  our debt financing agreements expose us to interest rate risks, contain obligations that may limit the flexibility of our operations, and may limit our ability to raise additional capital; and
     
  sales of common stock or derivative securities by us in private placements or public offerings as well as the conversion of existing convertible debt securities could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders.

 

We undertake no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements included in this Report, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this Report. Our actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences are discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included herein.

 

Unless otherwise noted, references in this Report to the “Registrant,” “Company,” “Amergent,” “Spin-Off Entity,” “we,” “our” or “us” means Amergent Hospitality Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and our subsidiaries.

 

3

 

 

PART I

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

BACKGROUND- MERGER AND SPIN-OFF

 

Amergent Hospitality Group Inc. was incorporated on February 18, 2020 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chanticleer Holdings Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Chanticleer”), for the purpose of conducting the business of Chanticleer and its subsidiaries after completion of the spin-off of all the shares of Amergent to the shareholders of Chanticleer.

 

In connection with and prior to its merger (“Merger”) with Sonnet BioTherapeutics Holdings Inc., a New Jersey Corporation (“Sonnet”), Chanticleer contributed and transferred to Amergent, a newly formed, wholly-owned subsidiary of Chanticleer, all of Chanticleer’s business, operations, assets and liabilities, pursuant to the Contribution Agreement between Chanticleer and Amergent dated March 31, 2020.

 

All of Chanticleer’s then current restaurant business operations were contributed to Amergent and the stockholders of record received the same pro-rata ownership in Amergent as in Chanticleer.

 

As a result of the Spin-Off, Amergent emerged as successor to the business, operations, assets and liabilities of pre-merger Chanticleer. Additionally, Amergent’s shareholder base and their holdings (on a pro-rata basis) are identical to that of pre-merger Chanticleer.

 

GOING CONCERN QUALIFICATION

 

Our financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 were prepared under the assumption that we will continue as a going concern for the next 12 months from the date of issuance of these financial statements. As of December 31, 2021, our cash balance was $2.3 million, of which $1.7 million was restricted cash, our working capital deficiency was $12.5 million and we had significant near-term commitments and contractual obligations. These conditions raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The Company believes that its current level of cash and cash equivalents are not sufficient to fund its operations for the next 12 months. 

 

To alleviate these conditions, management is evaluating various funding alternatives and may seek to raise additional funds through the issuance of equity, mezzanine or debt securities, through arrangements with strategic partners or through obtaining credit from financial institutions. As we seek additional sources of financing, there can be no assurance that such financing will be available to us on favorable terms or at all. Our ability to obtain additional financing in the debt and equity capital markets is subject to several factors, including market and economic conditions, our performance and investor sentiment with respect to us and our industry.

 

BUSINESS

 

Amergent is in the business of owning, operating and franchising fast casual dining concepts.

 

We operate and franchise a system-wide total of 42 fast casual restaurants of which 29 are company-owned (an additional location opened January 4, 2022) and included in our consolidated and combined financial statements, and 13 are owned and operated by franchisees under franchise agreements.

 

4

 

 

American Burger Company (“ABC”) is a fast-casual dining chain consisting of 2 locations in North Carolina and New York, known for its diverse menu featuring fresh salads, customized burgers, milk shakes, sandwiches, and beer and wine.

 

BGR: The Burger Joint (“BGR”) was acquired in March 2015 and currently consists of 7 company-owned locations in the United States and 7 franchisee-operated locations in the United States. The former locations in the Middle East are closed.

 

Little Big Burger (“LBB”) was acquired in September 2015 and currently consists of 16 company-owned locations in the Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Charlotte, North Carolina areas. One location was temporarily closed at December 31, 2021 due to lack of available employees. The newest location at the University of Oregon was leased in August 2021 and became operational in December 2021. Of the company-owned restaurants, 8 of those locations are operated under partnership agreements with investors we have determined we are the primary beneficiary as we control the management and operations of the stores and the partner supplies the capital to open the store in exchange for a non-controlling interest.

 

We acquired Pie Squared Holdings LLC (“PIE” or “Pie Squared Holdings”) on August 30, 2021. Pie Squared Holdings, directly and through its four wholly-owned subsidiaries, owns, operates and franchises pizza restaurants operating under the tradename PizzaRev. The PizzaRev stores consist of 3 company-owned locations, one of which opened on January 4, 2022, and nine franchised locations. Three of these franchised locations were not open at the time of purchase and are not included in our total store count. One additional franchise location is planned to open in 2022.

 

The Jantzen Beach, Oregon location was a former Hooters of America location and is only open for online gaming sales, drinks and a limited food menu.

 

Through the use of partnerships, the Company partners with private investors who contribute all or substantially all of the capital required to open a restaurant in return for an ownership interest in the LLC and an economic interest in the net income of the restaurant location. The Company manages the operations of the restaurant in return for a management fee and an economic interest in the net income of the restaurant location. While terms may vary by LLC, the investor generally contributes between $0.3 million and $0.4 million per location and is entitled to 80% of the net income of the LLC until such time as the investor recoups the initial investment and the investor return on net income changes from 80% to 50%. The Company contributes the intellectual property and management related to operating a Little Big Burger, manages the construction, opening and ongoing operations of the store in return for a 5% management fee and 20% of net income until such time as the investor recoups the initial investment and the Company return on net income changes from 20% to 50%.

 

Additionally, we utilize franchise agreements to allow third parties to franchise a restaurant and, thus, are able to utilize the intellectual property, trademark, and trade dress in return for a franchise fee. The franchise agreement provides the franchisee with a designated territory or marketing area for an initial term of 10 years, with four successive five-year renewals. An upfront fee of $40,000 is required along with a $5,000 renewal fee and continuing fees based on a percent of revenues. We recognize the upfront fee allocated to each restaurant as revenue on a straight-line basis over the restaurant’s license term, which generally begins upon the signing of the contract for area development agreements and upon the signing of a store lease for franchise agreements. The payments for these upfront fees are generally received upon contract execution. Continuing fees, which are based upon a percentage of franchisee revenues (typically 5.5%) and are not subject to any constraints, are recognized on the accrual basis as those sales occur. The payments for these continuing fees are generally made on a weekly basis.

 

Franchises must be operated in strict compliance with our operations manual, which prescribes staffing requirements, minimum months, days and hours of operation, techniques and processes for service, length and method of training personnel, working capital and inventory requirements, accounting system and other operational standards. We provide up to five days of on-site training at no charge to franchisee. Additional on-site training may be requested by franchisee and will be provided at a daily rate of $500. We have the right to approve the property lease for each new franchise. We maintain image control and may direct a franchise to remodel. We provide specifications for equipment, safety and security, subject to additional location regulations. Franchisees must utilize designated, approved suppliers or obtain pre-approval of any new supplier. Franchisees have certain prescribed marketing requirements and we may require franchisee to contribute a percentage of net sales to a regional brand development fund. Further, we may require certain of franchisee’s personnel to attend an annual conference or all franchisee’s personnel to attend refresher training, at franchisee’s sole expense.

 

5

 

 

Franchisees have sole control over the day-to-day operations of the franchise. The franchisee is responsible for the hiring and termination of its personnel and compliance with applicable laws. The franchisee must sell wine and beer at the store and may opt to sell other alcoholic beverages. The franchisee is responsible for obtaining all required business licenses, including liquor licenses and to carry required insurance.

 

Any improvements or new concepts developed by a franchisee (such as improvements to proprietary recipes, equipment, merchandise or software) belong to us. Our franchise agreement contains confidentiality and non-disclosure covenants and a franchisee must require its personnel to execute confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.

 

We hold a minority investment in corporate owned Hooters. However, we do not currently intend to open additional Hooters restaurants.

 

Restaurant Geographic Locations

 

We currently operate ABC, BGR, LBB and PIE restaurants in the United States. ABC is in North Carolina and New York. BGR operates company restaurants in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, as well as franchise locations across the US. LBB operates in Oregon, Washington and North Carolina. PIE operates company restaurants in California, as well as franchise locations in California. We also operate gaming machines in Portland, Oregon under license from the Oregon Lottery Commission.

 

Competition

 

The restaurant industry is extremely competitive. We compete with other restaurants on the taste, quality and price of our food offerings. Additionally, we compete with other restaurants on service, ambience, location and overall customer experience. We believe that we compete primarily with local and regional sports bars and national casual dining and quick casual establishments, and to a lesser extent with quick service restaurants in general. Many of our competitors are well-established national, regional or local chains and many have greater financial and marketing resources than we do. We also compete with other restaurant and retail establishments for site locations and restaurant employees.

 

Information Systems and Security

 

Our information is processed, transmitted, and stored in a secure environment using enterprise grade technologies in order to protect both our data and the physical computing assets. While we believe that our internal policies, systems and procedures for cybersecurity are thorough, the risk of a cybersecurity event cannot be eliminated.

 

Proprietary Rights

 

We have trademarks and tradenames associated with American Burger, BGR, Little Big Burger and PizzaRev. We believe that the trademarks, service marks and other proprietary rights that we use in our restaurants have significant value and are important to our brand-building efforts and the marketing of our restaurant concepts. Although we believe that we have sufficient rights to all of our trademarks and service marks, we may face claims of infringement that could interfere with our ability to market our restaurants and promote our brand. Any such litigation may be costly and divert resources from our business. Moreover, if we are unable to successfully defend against such claims, we may be prevented from using our trademarks or service marks in the future and may be liable for damages.

 

Government Regulation

 

We are subject to various federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations that affect our business. Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in frequently revised state and local government regulations affecting our business, which have significantly impacted our restaurant operations and continue to do so. Regulations relating to opening and closing of restaurant dining rooms or outdoor patios, business hours, sanitation practices, to-go alcohol sales, guest spacing within dining rooms and other social distancing practices, and employment and safety-related laws involving contact tracing, exclusions and paid sick leave have materially affected the way we operate our business and serve our guests and have adversely impacted our cost structure and resulting profitability of our restaurants.

 

Environmental regulation

 

We are subject to a variety of federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations. Such laws and regulations have not had a significant impact on our capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position.

 

6

 

 

Local regulation

 

Our locations are subject to licensing and regulation by a number of government authorities, which may include health, sanitation, safety, fire, building and other agencies in the countries, states or municipalities in which the restaurants are located. Opening sites in new areas could be delayed by license and approval processes or by more requirements of local government bodies with respect to zoning, land use and environmental factors. Our agreements with our franchisees require them to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

 

Each restaurant requires appropriate licenses from regulatory authorities allowing it to sell liquor, beer and wine, and each restaurant requires food service licenses from local health authorities. Our licenses to sell alcoholic beverages may be suspended or revoked at any time for cause, including violation by us or our employees of any law or regulation pertaining to alcoholic beverage control. We are subject to various regulations by foreign governments related to the sale of food and alcoholic beverages and to health, sanitation and fire and safety standards. Compliance with these laws and regulations may lead to increased costs and operational complexity and may increase our exposure to governmental investigations or litigation.

 

Franchise Regulations

 

We must comply with regulations adopted by the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) and with several state and foreign laws that regulate the offer and sale of franchises. The FTC’s Trade Regulation Rule on Franchising (“FTC Rule”) and certain state and foreign laws require that we furnish prospective franchisees with a franchise disclosure document containing information prescribed by the FTC Rule and applicable state and foreign laws and regulations. We register the disclosure document in domestic and foreign jurisdictions that require registration for the sale of franchises. Our domestic franchise disclosure document complies with FTC Rule and various state disclosure requirements, and our international disclosure documents comply with applicable requirements.

 

We also must comply with state and foreign laws that regulate some substantive aspects of the franchisor-franchisee relationship. These laws may limit a franchisor’s ability to: terminate or not renew a franchise without good cause; interfere with the right of free association among franchisees; disapprove the transfer of a franchise; discriminate among franchisees regarding charges, royalties and other fees; and place new stores near existing franchises. Bills intended to regulate certain aspects of franchise relationships have been introduced into the United States Congress on several occasions during the last decade, but none have been enacted.

 

Employment Regulations

 

We are subject to state and federal employment laws that govern our relationship with our employees, such as minimum wage requirements, overtime and working conditions and citizenship requirements. Many of our employees are paid at rates which are influenced by changes in the federal and state wage regulations. Accordingly, changes in the wage regulations could increase our labor costs. The work conditions at our facilities are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and are subject to periodic inspections by this agency. In addition, the enactment of recent legislation and resulting new government regulation relating to healthcare benefits may result in additional cost increases and other effects in the future.

 

Gaming Regulations

 

We are also subject to regulations in Oregon where we operate gaming machines. Gaming operations are generally highly regulated and conducted under the permission and oversight of the state or local gaming commission, lottery or other government agencies.

 

Other Regulations

 

Our facilities must comply with the applicable requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) and related state statutes. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability with respect to public accommodations and employment. Under the ADA and related state laws, when constructing new restaurants or undertaking significant remodeling of existing restaurants, we must make them readily accessible to disabled persons. We must also make reasonable accommodations for the employment of disabled persons.

 

We are subject to a variety of consumer protection and similar laws and regulations at the federal, state and local level. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could subject us to financial and other penalties.

 

Seasonality

 

The sales of our restaurants may peak at various times throughout the year due to certain promotional events, weather and holiday related events. For example, our domestic fast casual restaurants tend to peak in the Spring, Summer and Fall months when the weather is milder. Severe weather including hurricanes, tornados, thunderstorms, snow and ice storms, prolonged extreme temperatures and similar conditions may impact restaurant sales volumes in some of the markets where we operate. Quarterly results also may be affected by the timing of the opening of new stores and the closing of existing stores. For these reasons, results for any quarter are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved for the full fiscal year.

 

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Employees

 

As of December 31, 2021, we had 348 employees in the United States. We employ additional people on a part-time basis as needed.

 

Working Capital Practices

 

Historically, we have financed our operations through public and private sales of common stock, issuance of preferred and common stock, convertible debt instruments, term loans and credit lines from financial institutions, and cash generated from operations. On March 27, 2020, Congress passed The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which included the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) for small businesses. On April 27, 2020, Amergent received a PPP loan in the amount of $2.1 million. On February 25, 2021, the Company received a second PPP loan of $2.0 million. These PPP loans may be forgiven if certain criteria are met.

 

The Employee Retention Credit (“ERC”) under the CARES Act is a refundable tax credit which encourages businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company recognized credits of $2.5 million under the ERC program for the year ended December 31, 2021. The program ended on January 1, 2022.

 

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (“RRF”) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pie Squared Holdings received a grant under the RRF, and $2.0 million of unused funds received under the RRF at the closing of the acquisition were placed into escrow for the benefit of the Company. The Company recognized $0.5 million in RRF grant income during the year ended December 31, 2021.

 

Available Information

 

We maintain a website at the following address: www.amergenthg.com. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this report. We make available on or through our website certain reports and amendments to those reports that we file with or furnish to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”). These include our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. We make this information available on our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the information with, or furnish it to, the SEC. In addition, we routinely post on the “Investors” page of our website news releases, announcements and other statements about our business and results of operations, some of which may contain information that may be deemed material to investors. Therefore, we encourage investors to monitor the “Investors” page of our website and review the information we post on that page. The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at the following address: http://www.sec.gov.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

The following are some of the risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those presented in our forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face but do represent those risks and uncertainties that we believe are material to us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also harm our business. All forward-looking statements in this document are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligations to update any such forward-looking statements.

 

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Summary of Material Risk Factors

 

  We have a history of operating losses. Our estimates regarding the sufficiency of our cash resources and capital requirements and needs for additional financing raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.
     
  We require additional financing to support our working capital and execute our operating plans for fiscal 2022, which may not be available or may be costly and dilutive.
     
  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could continue to harm our business and results of operations.
     
  Disruption within our supply chain could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
     
  We are in arrears on rent due on several of our leases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have pending litigation related to 7 sites of which 4 have permanently closed. The outcome of this litigation could result in the permanent closure of additional restaurant locations as well as the possibility of the Company being required to pay interest and damages, modify certain leases on unfavorable terms and could result in material impairments to the Company’s assets.
     
  Various subsidiaries are delinquent in payment of an aggregate of approximately $2.0 million of payroll taxes and failure to remit these payments promptly or through settlements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
     
  We may have to repay the $10.0 million of grant proceeds received from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
     
  We may not be entitled to forgiveness for the Paycheck Protection Program Loans.
     
  We have identified a material weakness in our internal control and procedures and internal control over financial reporting.

 

RISKS RELATED TO DELINQUENT PAYROLL TAXES

 

Various subsidiaries of the Company are delinquent in payment of payroll taxes to taxing authorities prior to the current year when previous management was in place, and a failure to remit these payments promptly or through settlements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

As of December 31, 2021 and 2020, approximately $2.0 million and $3.0 million, respectively, of employee and employer taxes (including estimated penalties and interest) has been accrued but not remitted in years prior to 2019 to certain taxing authorities by certain subsidiaries of the Company for cash compensation paid. As a result, these subsidiaries of the Company are liable for such payroll taxes. These various subsidiaries of the Company have received warnings and demands from the taxing authorities and management is prioritizing and working with the taxing authorities to make these payments in order to avoid further penalties and interest. Failure to remit these payments promptly could result in increased penalty fees and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Interest and penalties on the remaining liability are accruing at approximately $10,000 per month.

 

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RISKS RELATED TO PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS

 

We may not be entitled to forgiveness of our recently received Paycheck Protection Program Loans, and our application for the Paycheck Protection Program Loans could in the future be determined to have been impermissible.

 

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which included the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) for small businesses. On April 27, 2020, Amergent received a PPP loan of $2.1 million. Due to the Spin-Off and Merger, Amergent was not publicly traded at the time of the loan application or funding. The note bears interest at 1% per year, matures in April 2022, and requires monthly interest and principal payments of approximately $0.1 million beginning in November 2020 and through maturity. The currently issued guidelines of the program allow for the loan proceeds to be forgiven if certain requirements are met. Any loan proceeds not forgiven will be repaid in full. The Company had applied for loan forgiveness in the full amount of the loan, but the request was initially denied. The Company discussed the forgiveness request with the government agency that granted the loan and in March 2022, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) reversed its initial decision and will once again review the Company’s application for loan forgiveness. No assurance can be given as to the amount, if any, of forgiveness. The application for forgiveness allowed the Company to defer the timing of repayment until the forgiveness assessment is completed.

 

On February 25, 2021, the Company received a second loan of $2.0 million under the PPP. Amergent is not listed on a national securities exchange. The note bears interest at 1% per year, matures on February 25, 2026, and requires monthly principal and interest payments of approximately $45,000 beginning June 25, 2022 through maturity.

 

We will be required to repay any portion of the outstanding principal that is not forgiven, along with accrued interest, and we cannot provide any assurance that we will be eligible for loan forgiveness, that we will apply for forgiveness, or that any amount of the PPP loans will ultimately be forgiven by the U.S. SBA. In order to apply for the PPP loans, we were required to certify, among other things, that the current economic uncertainty made the PPP loans request necessary to support our ongoing operations. We made this certification in good faith after analyzing, among other things, the maintenance of our workforce, our need for additional funding to continue operations, and our ability to access alternative forms of capital in the current market environment to offset the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following this analysis, we believe that we satisfied all eligibility criteria for the PPP loans, and that our receipt of the PPP loans is consistent with the broad objectives of the CARES Act. The certification described above is subject to interpretation. On April 23, 2020, the U.S. SBA issued guidance stating that it is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith. The lack of clarity regarding loan eligibility under the Paycheck Protection Program has resulted in significant media coverage and controversy with respect to public companies applying for and receiving loans. If, despite our good-faith belief that given our circumstances we satisfied all eligible requirements for the PPP loans, we are later determined to have not been in compliance with these requirements or it is otherwise determined that we were ineligible to receive the PPP loans, we may be required to repay the PPP loans in their entirety and/or be subject to additional penalties. Should we be audited or reviewed by federal or state regulatory authorities as a result of filing an application for forgiveness of the PPP loans or otherwise, such audit or review could result in the diversion of management’s time and attention and the incurrence of additional costs. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

RISKS RELATED TO RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND

 

We may have to repay the $10.0 million of grant proceeds received from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

 

If it is determined that Pie Squared Holdings obtained the grant improperly or the disbursement of such grant monies were not for “eligible uses” then we would be responsible for the ramifications of such actions, including repayment of the approximately $10.0 million of grant monies, among other items. An assessment of the sellers’ indemnification agreement signed under the acquisition agreement would also need to be considered.

 

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (“RRF”) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program provides restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10.0 million per business and no more than $5.0 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

 

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In 2021, and prior to the acquisition, Pie Squared Holdings received a grant under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) RRF for approximately $10.0 million. The proceeds received were mainly used to repay existing debt and to also pay operating expenses. The unused funds received under the RRF at closing of $2.0 million were placed into escrow for the benefit of the Company for working capital to be used solely in the operations of the acquired business. The Company will periodically submit to the escrow agent the planned uses of these funds, and the sellers have the right to review the planned uses to determine whether, in the sellers’ opinion, the planned uses meet the criteria of “eligible uses” under the RRF. If determined to not meet such criteria, then the escrow agent will not distribute that portion of the request.

 

As the Company acquired all the outstanding membership interests in Pie Squared Holdings, the Company assumed all the rights and obligations of Pie Squared Holdings that arose from transactions of Pie Squared Holdings prior to the sale event, both stated rights and obligations as well as those that are contingent. As noted above, Pie Squared Holdings applied for and received an approximately $10.0 million grant from the U.S. SBA under the RRF and used approximately $8.0 million to repay existing debt of Pie Squared Holdings and to fund some of its operating expenses. Under the RRF there is a requirement that the grant monies be for “eligible uses.” The Company, through the structure of the acquisition, is now responsible that the grant proceeds were, in fact, properly obtained and disbursed for “eligible uses.” If it is determined that Pie Squared Holdings obtained the grant improperly or the disbursement of such grant monies were not “eligible uses” then the Company would be responsible for the ramifications of such actions, including repayment of the approximately $10.0 million of grant monies, among other items. Management completed its analysis of this contingency and concluded that, at this time, a liability does not need to be recorded for this contingency. In connection with the acquisition, the Company obtained an indemnification from the sellers which is inclusive of any matters related to the RRF. As such, an assessment of the sellers’ indemnification agreement signed under the acquisition agreement was also considered in the Company’s analysis.

 

RISKS RELATED TO IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

Defaults and closures under restaurant leases that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic could result in material impairments to the Company’s assets.

 

If an existing or future restaurant is not profitable, and we decide to close it, we may nonetheless be committed to perform our obligations under the applicable lease including, among other things, paying the base rent for the balance of the lease term. In addition, as each of our leases expires, we may fail to negotiate renewals, either on commercially acceptable terms or at all, which could cause us to pay increased occupancy costs or to close restaurants in desirable locations. These potential increased occupancy costs and closed restaurants could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

During 2021 the Company was in arrears on rent due on several of its leases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Company has pending litigation related to 7 sites of which 4 have permanently closed. The outcome of this litigation could result in the permanent closure of additional restaurant locations as well as the possibility of the Company being required to pay interest and damages, modify certain leases on unfavorable terms and could result in material impairments to the Company’s assets.

 

We are not contractually obligated to guarantee leasing arrangements between franchisees and their landlords.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has materially disrupted and may continue to disrupt our business, operations, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Federal, state and local government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted our industry and have had a material adverse effect on our business. During fiscal 2020 and 2021, state and local governments imposed a variety of restrictions on people and businesses, and public health authorities offered regular guidance on health and safety, which have caused and may continue to cause consumers to avoid or limit gatherings in public places or social interactions.

 

As of the date of this report, all of our restaurants are able to open their dining rooms and few capacity restrictions or other COVID-19 restrictions remain in place; however, it is possible that future increases in cases or further localized or widespread outbreaks of COVID-19 could require us to again reduce our capacity or suspend our in-restaurant dining operations. The COVID-19 pandemic and these responses have affected and may continue to adversely affect our guest traffic, sales and operating costs, and we cannot predict whether an increase in cases or localized or widespread outbreaks will occur and whether future government responses thereto may impact us. In addition, future increases in cases or further localized or widespread outbreaks of COVID-19 pandemic could negatively impact our suppliers, and we could face shortages of food items or other supplies at our restaurants, and our operations and sales could be adversely impacted by such supply interruptions.

 

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RISKS RELATED TO MATERIAL WEAKNESS IN OUR INTERNAL CONTROL AND PROCEDURES AND INTERNAL CONTROL OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING

 

We have identified a material weakness in our internal control and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. If not remediated, our failure to establish and maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could result in material misstatements in our financial statements and a failure to meet our reporting and financial obligations, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and the trading price of our common stock.

 

Maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and effective disclosure controls and procedures are necessary for us to produce reliable financial statements. We have re-evaluated our internal control over financial reporting and our disclosure controls and procedures and concluded that they were not effective as of December 31, 2021 and we concluded there was a material weakness in the design of our internal control over financial reporting.

 

A material weakness is defined as a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

 

The material weakness that we identified related to our financial close process including maintaining a sufficient complement of personnel commensurate with our accounting and financial reporting requirements as well as development and extension of controls over the recording of closing journal entries, accounting for business combinations, contingencies and proper cut-off of accounts payable and accrued expenses at period end.

 

We initiated several steps to evaluate and implement measures designed to improve our internal control over financial reporting in order to remediate the control deficiencies noted above, including recruitment of an accounting consultant and seeking outside advice from other third-party consultants to assist in improving the Company’s internal control, simplify its reporting processes and reduced the risk of undetected errors. In June 2020, the Company hired an accounting consultant that has appropriate expertise in accounting and reporting under U.S. GAAP and SEC regulations and has allowed the Company to be better aligned with segregation of duties. With the hiring of this consultant, the Company will be instituting monthly and quarterly meetings to identify significant, infrequent and unusual transactions as well as ensure timely reporting. Additionally, in September 2020 the Company engaged a third-party accounting and advisory firm to assist with, among other areas, the analysis of complex, infrequent and unusual transactions as well as provide valuation services to the Company.

 

The Company is committed to remediating its material weaknesses as promptly as possible. Implementation of the Company’s remediation plans has commenced and is being overseen by the Audit Committee. However, there can be no assurance as to when these material weaknesses will be remediated or that additional material weaknesses will not arise in the future. Even effective internal control can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements. Any failure to remediate the material weaknesses, or the development of new material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, could result in material misstatements in our financial statements, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and the trading price of our common stock and we could fail to meet our financial reporting obligations.

 

RISKS RELATED TO CLIMATE CHANGE

 

Water scarcity and poor quality could negatively impact our costs and capacity.

 

Water is a limited resource in many parts of the world, facing unprecedented challenges from overexploitation, increasing demand for food and other consumer and industrial products whose manufacturing processes require water, increasing pollution and emerging awareness of potential contaminants, poor management, lack of physical or financial access to water, sociopolitical tensions due to lack of public infrastructure in certain areas of the world and the effects of climate change. As the demand for water continues to increase around the world, and as water becomes scarcer and the quality of available water deteriorates, we may incur higher costs, which could adversely affect our profitability.

 

12

 

 

Increased demand for food products and decreased agricultural productivity may negatively affect our business.

 

Decreased agricultural productivity in certain regions of the world as a result of changing weather patterns; increased agricultural regulations; and other factors have in the past, and may in the future, limit the availability and/or increase the cost of such agricultural commodities and could impact the food security of communities around the world.

 

Adverse weather conditions could reduce the demand for our products.

 

The sales of our products are influenced to some extent by weather conditions in the markets in which we operate. Unusually cold or rainy weather during the summer months may have a temporary effect on the demand for our products and contribute to lower sales, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations for such periods.

 

Any adverse weather conditions, seasonal fluctuations, natural disasters and effects of climate change may adversely affect our results of operations.

 

The occurrence of natural disasters, such as fires, hurricanes or freezing weather may unfavorably affect our operations and financial performance. Any of the foregoing events may result in physical damage, temporary or permanent closure, lack of an adequate work force, or temporary or long-term disruption in the supply of food, beverages, electric, water, sewer and waste disposal services necessary for our restaurants to operate.

 

In addition, there has been increasing focus by the United States and overseas governmental authorities and investors on other environmental matters, such as climate change, which may increase the frequency and severity of weather-related events and conditions, such as drought and forest fires. This increased focus on climate change and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and water consumption may lead to new initiatives directed at regulating a yet to be specified array of environmental matters. Legislative, regulatory or other efforts to combat climate change or other environmental concerns could result in future increases in the cost of raw materials, taxes, transportation and utilities, which could affect our results of operations and necessitate future investments in facilities and equipment.

 

RISKS RELATED TO OUR OPERATING LOSSES

 

We have not been profitable to date and operating losses could continue.

 

We have incurred operating losses and generated negative cash flows since our inception and have financed our operations principally through equity investments and borrowings. Future profitability is difficult to predict with certainty. Failure to achieve profitability could materially and adversely affect the value of our Company and our ability to effect additional financings. The success of the business depends on our ability to increase revenues to offset expenses. If our revenues fall short of projections or we are unable to reduce operating expenses, our business, financial condition and operating results will be materially adversely affected.

 

Our consolidated and combined financial statements have been prepared assuming a going concern.

 

Our consolidated and combined financial statements as of and for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 were prepared under the assumption that we will continue as a going concern for the next 12 months from the date of issuance of these consolidated and combined financial statements. Our independent registered public accounting firm has issued a report related to our annual consolidated and combined financial statements that includes an explanatory paragraph referring to our losses from operations and expressing substantial doubt in our ability to continue as a going concern without additional capital becoming available. Our ability to continue as a going concern is dependent upon our ability to obtain additional financing, re-negotiate or extend existing indebtedness, obtain further operating efficiencies, reduce expenditures and ultimately, create profitable operations. We may not be able to refinance or extend our debt or obtain additional capital on reasonable terms. Our consolidated and combined financial statements do not include adjustments that would result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

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We may not be able to extend or repay our indebtedness owed to our secured lenders, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and ability to continue as a going concern.

 

If we are unable to service or repay these obligations at maturity and we are otherwise unable to extend the maturity dates or refinance these obligations, we would be in default. We cannot provide any assurances that we will be able to raise the necessary amount of capital to service these obligations. Upon a default, our secured lenders would have the right to exercise their rights and remedies to collect, which would include foreclosing on our assets. Accordingly, a default would have a material adverse effect on our business, and we would likely be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.

 

We require additional financing to support our working capital and execute our operating plans for 2022, which may not be available or may be costly and dilutive.

 

We require additional financing to support our working capital needs and fund our operating plans for fiscal 2022. To alleviate these conditions, management is currently evaluating various funding alternatives and may seek to raise additional funds through the issuance of equity, mezzanine or debt securities, through arrangements with strategic partners or through obtaining credit from financial institutions. As we seek additional sources of financing, there can be no assurance that such financing would be available to us on favorable terms or at all. Our ability to obtain additional financing in the debt and equity capital markets is subject to several factors, including market and economic conditions, our performance and investor.

 

RISKS RELATED TO OUR DEBT FINANCING ARRANGEMENTS AND SIGNIFICANT SHAREHOLDERS

 

We have debt financing arrangements that could have a material adverse effect on our financial health and our ability to obtain financing in the future and may impair our ability to react quickly to changes in our business.

 

Our exposure to debt financing could limit our ability to satisfy our obligations, limit our ability to operate our business and impair our competitive position. For example, it could:

 

increase our vulnerability to adverse economic and industry conditions, including interest rate fluctuations, because a portion of our borrowings are at variable rates of interest;
   
require us to dedicate significant future cash flows to the repayment of debt, reducing the availability of cash to fund working capital, capital expenditures or other general corporate purposes;
   
limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and industry; and
   
limit our ability to obtain additional debt or equity financing due to applicable financial and restrictive covenants contained in our debt agreements.

 

We may also incur additional indebtedness in the future, which could materially increase the impact of these risks on our financial condition and results of operations. Failure to successfully recapitalize the business could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our 10% Secured Convertible Debenture in favor of Oz Rey, LLC (“Oz Rey”) contains financial and other covenants that, if breached, could trigger default.

 

Pursuant to our 10% Secured Convertible Debenture (“10% Debenture”) dated April 1, 2020 in favor of Oz Rey, we are required to:

 

  maintain a positive EBITDA;
     
  timely file all reports required by Section 12(g) or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act;
     
  maintain positive net earnings;
     
  maintain a minimum market capitalization (based upon the number of shares of common stock outstanding and a 30-day VWAP) of at least $5,500,000; and
     
  use commercially reasonable efforts to list the common stock on a Nasdaq Stock Market exchange.

 

In March 2022, Oz Rey, LLC agreed to subordinate payment of its 10% Debenture to newly issued 8% Senior Unsecured Convertible Debentures (“8% Debentures”). The Company may issue up to $3.0 million of 8% Debentures. As of the date hereof, the Company issued $1.3 million in 8% Debentures.

 

Any breach that is not waived by Oz Rey could trigger default of the 10% Debenture and our 8% Debentures.

 

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RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS MODEL

 

We do not have full operational control over the franchisee-operated restaurants.

 

We are and will be dependent on our franchisees to maintain quality, service and cleanliness standards, and their failure to do so could materially affect our brands and harm our future growth. Our franchisees have flexibility in their operations, including the ability to set prices for our products in their restaurants, hire employees and select certain service providers. In addition, it is possible that some franchisees may not operate their restaurants in accordance with our quality, service and cleanliness, health or product standards. Although we intend to take corrective measures if franchisees fail to maintain high quality service and cleanliness standards, we may not be able to identify and rectify problems with sufficient speed and, as a result, our image and operating results may be negatively affected.

 

Any prior acquisitions, as well as future acquisitions, may have unanticipated consequences that could harm our business and our financial condition.

 

Any acquisition that we pursue, whether successfully completed or not, involves risks, including:

 

  material adverse effects on our operating results, particularly in the fiscal quarters immediately following the acquisition as the acquired restaurants are integrated into our operations;
     
  risks associated with entering into markets or conducting operations where we have no or limited prior experience;
     
  problems retaining key personnel;
     
  potential impairment of tangible and intangible assets and goodwill acquired in the acquisition;
     
  potential unknown liabilities;
     
  difficulties of integration and failure to realize anticipated synergies; and
     
  disruption of our ongoing business, including diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns.

 

Future acquisitions of restaurants or other businesses, which may be accomplished through a cash purchase transaction, the issuance of our equity securities or a combination of both, could result in potentially dilutive issuances of our equity securities, the incurrence of debt and contingent liabilities and impairment charges related to goodwill and other intangible assets, any of which could harm our business and financial condition.

 

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We are subject to the risks associated with leasing space subject to long-term non-cancelable leases.

 

We lease all the real property and we expect the new restaurants we open in the future will also be leased. We are obligated under non-cancelable leases for our restaurants and our corporate headquarters. Our restaurant leases generally require us to pay a proportionate share of real estate taxes, insurance, common area maintenance charges and other operating costs. Some restaurant leases provide for contingent rental payments based on sales thresholds, although we generally do not expect to pay significant contingent rent on these properties based on the thresholds in those leases. Additional sites that we lease are likely to be subject to similar long-term non-cancelable leases.

 

If an existing or future restaurant is not profitable, and we decide to close it, we may nonetheless be committed to perform our obligations under the applicable lease including, among other things, paying the base rent for the balance of the lease term. In addition, as each of our leases expires, we may fail to negotiate renewals, either on commercially acceptable terms or at all, which could cause us to pay increased occupancy costs or to close restaurants in desirable locations. These potential increased occupancy costs and closed restaurants could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

As of December 31, 2021, there were seven restaurants that the Company had abandoned and maintained its operating lease liabilities as the Company had not negotiated the termination of the underlying leases with its landlord. Such liabilities amount to approximately $3.1 million at December 31, 2021 and are reflected as operating lease liabilities on the consolidated and combined balance sheet included in this report.

 

We are not contractually obligated to guarantee leasing arrangements between franchisees and their landlords.

 

We may not attain our target development goals and aggressive development could cannibalize existing sales.

 

Our growth strategy depends in large part on our ability to open new stores (either directly or through franchisees or joint venture partners). The successful development of new units will depend in large part on our ability and the ability of our franchisees to open new restaurants and to operate these restaurants on a profitable basis. We cannot guarantee that we, or our franchisees or joint venture partners, will be able to achieve our expansion goals or that new restaurants will be operated profitably. Further, there is no assurance that any new restaurant will produce operating results like those of our existing restaurants. Other risks that could impact our ability to increase our ability to open new stores include prevailing economic conditions and our, or our franchisees’ and joint venture partners’, ability to obtain suitable restaurant locations, obtain required permits and approvals in a timely manner and hire and train qualified personnel.

 

Our franchisees and joint venture partners also frequently depend upon financing from banks and other financial institutions in order to construct and open new restaurants. If it becomes more difficult or expensive for them to obtain financing to develop new restaurants, our planned growth could slow, and our future revenue and cash flows could be adversely impacted.

 

In addition, the new restaurants could impact the sales of our existing restaurants nearby. It is not our intention to open new restaurants that materially cannibalize the sales of our existing restaurants. However, as with most growing retail and restaurant operations, there can be no assurance that sales cannibalization will not occur or become more significant in the future as we increase our presence in existing markets over time.

 

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RISKS RELATED TO SPIN-OFF TRANSACTION

 

Our potential indemnification obligations pursuant to the Indemnification Agreement could materially adversely affect us.

 

Under the Indemnification Agreement, which will expire on March 25, 2026, we have an obligation to indemnify Sonnet for liabilities associated with our business and the assets and liabilities distributed to us or our subsidiaries in connection with the Spin-Off. We have obtained a Tail Policy with policy limits in the amount of $3.0 million to cover such liabilities; however, if we have to indemnify Chanticleer for unanticipated liabilities in excess of this amount, the cost of such indemnification obligations may have a material and adverse effect on our financial performance.

 

GENERAL RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS

 

We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property, which could harm the value of our brand and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our intellectual property is material to the conduct of our business. Our ability to implement our business plan successfully depends in part on our ability to further build brand recognition using our trademarks, tradenames and other proprietary intellectual property, including our name and logos and the unique ambience of our restaurants. While it is our policy to protect and defend vigorously our rights to our intellectual property, we cannot predict whether steps taken by us to protect our intellectual property rights will be adequate to prevent misappropriation of these rights or the use by others of restaurant features based upon, or otherwise similar to, our restaurant concept. It may be difficult for us to prevent others from copying elements of our concept and any litigation to enforce our rights will likely be costly and may not be successful. Although we believe that we have sufficient rights to all our trademarks and service marks, we may face claims of infringement that could interfere with our ability to market our restaurants and promote our brand. Any such litigation may be costly and could divert resources from our business. Moreover, if we are unable to successfully defend against such claims, we may be prevented from using our trademarks or service marks in the future and may be liable for damages, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

In addition, we license certain of our proprietary intellectual property, including our name and logos, to third parties. For example, we grant our franchisees and licensees a right to use certain of our trademarks in connection with their operation of the applicable restaurant. If a franchisee or other licensee fails to maintain the quality of the restaurant operations associated with the licensed trademarks, our rights to, and the value of, our trademarks could potentially be harmed. Negative publicity relating to the franchisee or licensee could also be incorrectly associated with us, which could harm our business. Failure to maintain, control and protect our trademarks and other proprietary intellectual property would likely have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and on our ability to enter into new franchise agreements.

 

Litigation and unfavorable publicity could negatively affect our results of operations as well as our future business.

 

We are subject to potential for litigation and other customer complaints concerning our food safety, service and/or other operational factors. Guests may file formal litigation complaints that we are required to defend, whether we believe them to be true or not. Substantial, complex or extended litigation could have an adverse effect on our results of operations if we incur substantial defense costs and our management is distracted. Employees may also, from time to time, bring lawsuits against us regarding injury, discrimination, wage and hour, and other employment issues. Additionally, potential disputes could subject us to litigation alleging non-compliance with franchise, development, support service, or other agreements. Additionally, we are subject to the risk of litigation by our stockholders as a result of factors including, but not limited to, performance of our stock price.

 

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In certain states we are subject to “dram shop” statutes, which generally allow a person injured by an intoxicated person the right to recover damages from an establishment that wrongfully served alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated person. Some dram shop litigation against restaurant companies has resulted in significant judgments, including punitive damages. We carry liquor liability coverage as part of our existing comprehensive general liability insurance, but we cannot provide assurance that this insurance will be adequate in the event we are found liable in a dram shop case.

 

In recent years there has been an increase in the use of social media platforms and similar devices that allow individuals’ access to a broad audience of consumers and other interested persons. The availability of information on social media platforms is virtually immediate in its impact. A variety of risks are associated with the use of social media, including the improper disclosure of proprietary information, negative comments about our Company, exposure of personally identifiable information, fraud or outdated information. The inappropriate use of social media platforms by our guests, employees or other individuals could increase our costs, lead to litigation, or result in negative publicity that could damage our reputation, and create an adverse change in the business climate that impairs goodwill. If we are unable to quickly and effectively respond, we may suffer declines in guest traffic, which could materially affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Food safety and foodborne illness concerns could have an adverse effect on our business.

 

We cannot guarantee that our internal control and training will be fully effective in preventing all food safety issues at our restaurants, including any occurrences of foodborne illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli and hepatitis A. In addition, there is no guarantee that our franchise restaurants will maintain the high levels of internal control and training we require at our company-operated restaurants.

 

Furthermore, we and our franchisees rely on third-party vendors, making it difficult to monitor food safety compliance and increasing the risk that foodborne illness would affect multiple locations rather than a single restaurant. Some foodborne illness incidents could be caused by third-party vendors and transporters outside of our control. New illnesses resistant to our current precautions may develop in the future, or diseases with long incubation periods could arise, that could give rise to claims or allegations on a retroactive basis. One or more instances of foodborne illness in any of our restaurants or markets or related to food products we sell could negatively affect our restaurant revenue nationwide if highly publicized on national media outlets or through social media.

 

This risk exists even if it were later determined that the illness was wrongly attributed to us or one of our restaurants. Several other restaurant chains have experienced incidents related to foodborne illnesses that have had a material adverse effect on their operations. The occurrence of a similar incident at one or more of our restaurants, or negative publicity or public speculation about an incident, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

There are risks inherent in expansion of operations, including our ability to generate profits from new restaurants, find suitable sites and develop and construct locations in a timely and cost-effective way.

 

We cannot project with certainty the number of new restaurants we and our franchisees will open. Our failure to effectively develop locations in new territories would adversely affect our ability to execute our business plan by, among other things, reducing our revenues and profits and preventing us from realizing our strategy. Furthermore, we cannot assure you that our new restaurants will generate revenues or profit margins consistent with those currently operated by us.

 

The number of openings and the performance of new locations will depend on various factors, including:

 

  the availability of suitable sites for new locations;
     
  our ability to negotiate acceptable lease or purchase terms for new locations, obtain adequate financing, on favorable terms, requirement to construct, build-out and operate new locations and meet construction schedules, and hire and train and retain qualified restaurant managers and personnel;
     
  the management of construction and development costs of new restaurants at affordable levels;
     
  the establishment of brand awareness in new markets; and
     
  our ability to manage expansion.

 

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Additionally, competition for suitable restaurant sites in target markets is intense. Restaurants we open in new markets may take longer to reach expected sales and profit levels on a consistent basis and may have higher construction, occupancy or operating costs than restaurants we open in existing markets, thereby affecting our overall profitability.

 

New markets may have competitive conditions, consumer tastes and discretionary spending patterns that are more difficult to predict or satisfy than our existing markets. We may need to make greater investments than we originally planned in advertising and promotional activity in new markets to build brand awareness. We may find it more difficult in new markets to hire, motivate and keep qualified employees who share our vision, passion and culture. We may also incur higher costs from entering new markets if, for example, we assign regional managers to manage comparatively fewer restaurants than in more developed markets.

 

We may not be able to successfully develop critical market presence for our brand in new geographical markets, as we may be unable to find and secure attractive locations, build name recognition or attract new customers. Inability to fully implement or failure to successfully execute our plans to enter new markets could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Not all of these factors are within our control or the control of our partners, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to accelerate our growth or that we will be able to manage the anticipated expansion of our operations effectively.

 

We operate in the highly competitive restaurant industry. If we are not able to compete effectively, it will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We face significant competition from restaurants in the fast-casual dining and traditional fast food segments of the restaurant industry. These segments are highly competitive with respect to, among other things, taste, price, food quality and presentation, service, location and the ambience and condition of each restaurant. Our competition includes a variety of locally owned restaurants and national and regional chains offering dine-in, carry-out, delivery and catering services. Many of our competitors have existed longer and have a more established market presence with substantially greater financial, marketing, personnel and other resources than we do. Among our competitors are a number of multi-unit, multi-market, fast casual restaurant concepts, some of which are expanding nationally. As we expand, we will face competition from these restaurant concepts as well as new competitors that strive to compete with our market segments. These competitors may have, among other things, lower operating costs, better locations, better facilities, better management, more effective marketing and more efficient operations. Additionally, we face the risk that new or existing competitors will copy our business model, menu options, presentation or ambience, among other things.

 

Any inability to successfully compete with the restaurants in our markets and other restaurant segments will place downward pressure on our customer traffic and may prevent us from increasing or sustaining our revenue and profitability. Consumer tastes, nutritional and dietary trends, traffic patterns and the type, number and location of competing restaurants often affect the restaurant business, and our competitors may react more efficiently and effectively to those conditions. Several of our competitors compete by offering menu items that are specifically identified as low in carbohydrates, gluten-free or healthier for consumers. In addition, many of our traditional fast food restaurant competitors offer lower-priced menu options or meal packages or have loyalty programs. Our sales could decline due to changes in popular tastes, “fad” food regimens, such as low carbohydrate diets, and media attention on new restaurants. If we are unable to continue to compete effectively, our traffic, sales and restaurant contribution could decline which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our business could be adversely affected by declines in discretionary spending and may be affected by changes in consumer preferences.

 

Our success depends, in part, upon the popularity of our food products. Shifts in consumer preferences away from our restaurants or cuisine could harm our business. Also, our success depends to a significant extent on discretionary consumer spending, which is influenced by general economic conditions and the availability of discretionary income. Accordingly, we may experience declines in sales during economic downturns or during periods of uncertainty. A continuing decline in the amount of discretionary spending could have a material adverse effect on our sales, results of operations, and business and financial condition.

 

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Increases in costs, including food, labor and energy prices, will adversely affect our results of operations.

 

Our profitability is dependent on our ability to anticipate and react to changes in our operating costs, including food, labor, occupancy (including utilities and energy), insurance and supply costs. Various factors beyond our control, including climatic changes and government regulations, may affect food costs. Specifically, our dependence on frequent, timely deliveries of fresh meat and produce subject us to the risks of possible shortages or interruptions in supply caused by adverse weather or other conditions which could adversely affect the availability and cost of any such items. In the past, we have been able to recover some of our higher operating costs through increased menu prices. There have been, and there may be in the future, delays in implementing such menu price increases, and competitive pressures may limit our ability to recover such cost increases in their entirety.

 

Our ability to maintain consistent price and quality throughout our restaurants depends in part upon our ability to acquire specified food products and supplies in sufficient quantities from third-party vendors, suppliers and distributors at a reasonable cost. We do not control the businesses of our vendors, suppliers and distributors, and our efforts to specify and monitor the standards under which they perform may not be successful. If any of our vendors or other suppliers are unable to fulfill their obligations to our standards, or if we are unable to find replacement providers in the event of a supply or service disruption, we could encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs to secure adequate supplies, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Furthermore, if our current vendors or other suppliers are unable to support our expansion into new markets, or if we are unable to find vendors to meet our supply specifications or service needs as we expand, we could likewise encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs to secure adequate supplies, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Changes in employment laws and minimum wage standards may adversely affect our business.

 

Labor is a primary component in the cost of operating our restaurants. If we face labor shortages or increased labor costs because of increased competition for employees, higher employee turnover rates, increases in the federal, state or local minimum wage or other employee benefits costs (including costs associated with health insurance coverage), our operating expenses could increase, and our growth could be negatively impacted.

 

In addition, our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, motivate and retain enough well-qualified restaurant operators and management personnel, as well as a sufficient number of other qualified employees, including customer service and kitchen staff, to keep pace with our expansion schedule. In addition, restaurants have traditionally experienced relatively high employee turnover rates. Although we have not yet experienced significant problems in recruiting or retaining employees, our ability to recruit and retain such individuals may delay the planned openings of new restaurants or result in higher employee turnover in existing restaurants, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Various federal and state employment laws govern the relationship with our employees and impact operating costs. These laws include employee classification as exempt or non-exempt for overtime and other purposes, minimum wage requirements, unemployment tax rates, workers’ compensation rates, immigration status and other wage and benefit requirements. Significant additional government-imposed increases in the following areas could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations:

 

  Minimum wages;
  Mandatory health benefits;
  Vacation accruals;
  Paid leaves of absence, including paid sick leave; and
  Tax reporting.

 

We could also become subject to fines, penalties and other costs related to claims that we did not fully comply with all recordkeeping obligations of federal and state immigration compliance laws. These factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We are subject to risks arising under federal and state labor laws.

 

We are subject to risks under federal and state labor laws, including disputes concerning whether and when a union can be organized, and once unionized, collective bargaining rights, various issues arising from union contracts, and matters relating to a labor strike. Labor laws are complex and differ vastly from state to state.

 

Our business and the growth of our Company are dependent on the skills and expertise of management and key personnel.

 

During the upcoming stages of our Company’s anticipated growth, we are entirely dependent upon the management skills and expertise of our management and key personnel. We do not have employment agreements with many of our executive officers. The loss of services of our executive officers could dramatically affect our business prospects. Certain of our employees are particularly valuable to us because:

 

  they have specialized knowledge about our company and operations;
  they have specialized skills that are important to our operations; or
  they would be particularly difficult to replace.

 

If the services of any key management personnel ceased to be available to us, our growth prospects or future operating results may be adversely impacted.

 

Our food service business, gaming revenues and the restaurant industry are subject to extensive government regulation.

 

We are subject to extensive and varied country, federal, state and local government regulation, including regulations relating to public health, gambling, safety and zoning codes. We operate each of our locations in accordance with standards and procedures designed to comply with applicable codes and regulations. However, if we could not obtain or retain food or other licenses, it would adversely affect our operations. Although we have not experienced, and do not anticipate experiencing any significant difficulties, delays or failures in obtaining required licenses, permits or approvals, any such problem could delay or prevent the opening of, or adversely impact the viability of, a particular location or group of restaurants.

 

Changing conditions in the global economy and financial markets may materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and ability to raise capital.

 

Our business and results of operations may be materially affected by conditions in the financial markets and the economy generally. The demand for our products could be adversely affected in an economic downturn and our revenues may decline under such circumstances. In addition, we may find it difficult, or we may not be able, to access the credit or equity markets, or we may experience higher funding costs in the event of adverse market conditions. Future instability in these markets could limit our ability to access the capital we require to fund and grow our business.

 

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Changes to accounting rules or regulations may adversely affect the reporting of our results of operations.

 

Changes to existing accounting rules or regulations may impact the reporting of our future results of operations or cause the perception that we are more highly leveraged. Other new accounting rules or regulations and varying interpretations of existing accounting rules or regulations have occurred and may occur in the future. For instance, new accounting rules require lessees to capitalize operating leases in their financial statements, which require us to record significant right of use assets and lease obligations on our balance sheet. This and other future changes to accounting rules or regulations could have a material adverse effect on the reporting of our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, many existing accounting standards require management to make subjective assumptions, such as those required for stock compensation, tax matters, franchise accounting, acquisitions, litigation, and asset impairment calculations. Changes in accounting standards or changes in underlying assumptions, estimates and judgments by our management could significantly change our reported or expected financial performance.

 

We may incur costs resulting from breaches of security of confidential consumer information related to our electronic processing of credit and debit card transactions.

 

Most of our restaurant sales are by credit or debit cards. Other restaurants and retailers have experienced security breaches in which credit and debit card information has been stolen. We may in the future become subject to claims for purportedly fraudulent transactions arising out of the actual or alleged theft of credit or debit card information, and we may also be subject to lawsuits or other proceedings relating to these types of incidents. In addition, most states have enacted legislation requiring notification of security breaches involving personal information, including credit and debit card information. Any such claim or proceeding could cause us to incur significant unplanned expenses, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Further, adverse publicity resulting from these allegations may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

We rely heavily on information technology, and any material failure, weakness, interruption or breach of security could prevent us from effectively operating our business.

 

We rely heavily on information systems, including point-of-sale processing in our restaurants, for management of our supply chain, payment of obligations, collection of cash, credit and debit card transactions and other processes and procedures. Our ability to efficiently and effectively manage our business depends significantly on the reliability and capacity of these systems. Our operations depend upon our ability to protect our computer equipment and systems against damage from physical theft, fire, power loss, telecommunications failure or other catastrophic events, as well as from internal and external security breaches, viruses and other disruptive problems. The failure of these systems to operate effectively, maintenance problems, upgrading or transitioning to new platforms, or a breach in security of these systems could result in delays in customer service and reduce efficiency in our operations. Remediation of such problems could result in significant, unplanned capital investments.

 

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Negative publicity could reduce sales at some or all our restaurants.

 

We may, from time to time, be faced with negative publicity relating to food quality and integrity, the safety, sanitation and welfare of our restaurant facilities, customer complaints, labor issues, or litigation alleging illness or injury, health inspection scores, integrity of our or our suppliers’ food processing and other policies, practices and procedures, employee relationships and welfare or other matters at one or more of our restaurants. Negative publicity may adversely affect us, regardless of whether the allegations are valid or whether we are held to be responsible. The risk of negative publicity is particularly great with respect to our franchised restaurants because we are limited in the manner in which we can regulate them, especially on a real-time basis and negative publicity from our franchised restaurants may also significantly impact company-operated restaurants. A similar risk exists with respect to food service businesses unrelated to us, if customers mistakenly associate such unrelated businesses with our operations. Employee claims against us based on, among other things, wage and hour violations, discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination may also create not only legal and financial liability but negative publicity that could adversely affect us and divert our financial and management resources that would otherwise be used to benefit the future performance of our operations. These types of employee claims could also be asserted against us, on a co-employer theory, by employees of our franchisees. A significant increase in the number of these claims or an increase in the number of successful claims could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

The interests of our franchisees may conflict with ours or yours in the future and we could face liability from our franchisees or related to our relationship with our franchisees.

 

Franchisees, as independent business operators, may from time to time disagree with us and our strategies regarding the business or our interpretation of our respective rights and obligations under the franchise agreement and the terms and conditions of the franchisee/franchisor relationship or have interests adverse to ours. This may lead to disputes with our franchisees and we expect such disputes to occur from time to time in the future as we continue to offer franchises. Such disputes may result in legal action against us. To the extent we have such disputes, the attention, time and financial resources of our management and our franchisees will be diverted from our restaurants, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows even if we have a successful outcome in the dispute.

 

In addition, various state and federal laws govern our relationship with our franchisees and our potential sale of a franchise. A franchisee and/or a government agency may bring legal action against us based on the franchisee/franchisor relationship that could result in the award of damages to franchisees and/or the imposition of fines or other penalties against us.

 

GENERAL RISKS RELATED TO OUR COMMON STOCK

 

Trading volume in our common stock is limited, which could increase price volatility for, and reduced liquidity of, our common stock.

 

Trading volume in our common stock is limited and an active trading market for our shares of common stock may never develop or be maintained. The absence of an active trading market could increase price volatility and reduces the liquidity of our common stock and as a result, the sale of a significant number of shares of common stock at any particular time could be difficult to achieve at the market prices prevailing immediately before such shares are offered.

 

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Future financings could adversely affect common stock ownership interest and rights in comparison with those of other security holders.

 

Our board of directors has the power to issue additional shares of common or preferred stock up to the amounts authorized in our certificate of incorporation without stockholder approval, subject to restrictive covenants contained in our existing financing agreements. If additional funds are raised through the issuance of equity or convertible debt securities, the percentage ownership of our existing stockholders will be reduced, and these newly issued securities may have rights, preferences or privileges senior to those of existing stockholders. If we issue any additional common stock or securities convertible into common stock, such issuance will reduce the proportionate ownership and voting power of each other stockholder. In addition, such stock issuances might result in a reduction of the book value of our common stock. Any increase of the number of authorized shares of common stock or preferred stock would require board and shareholder approval and subsequent amendment to our certificate of incorporation.

 

If and when a larger trading market for our common stock develops, the market price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile and subject to wide fluctuations, and you may be unable to resell your shares at or above the price at which you acquired them.

 

The market price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to a number of factors that are beyond our control, including, but not limited to:

 

  quarterly variations in our revenues and operating expenses;
     
  developments in the financial markets and worldwide or regional economies;
     
  announcements of innovations or new products, solutions or services by us or our competitors;
     
  announcements by the government relating to regulations that govern our industry;
     
  significant sales of our common stock or other securities in the open market;
     
  variations in interest rates;
     
  changes in the market valuations of other comparable companies; and
     
  changes in accounting principles.

 

In the past, stockholders have often instituted securities class action litigation after periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities. If a stockholder were to file any such class action suit against us, we would incur substantial legal fees and our management’s attention and resources would be diverted from operating our business to respond to the litigation, which could harm our business.

 

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Recent and future sales of securities by us in equity or debt financings could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders and have a material adverse effect on our earnings.

 

Recent and future sales of common stock or derivative securities by us in private placements or public offerings could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders. In addition, our business strategy may include expansion through internal growth by acquiring complementary businesses. In order to do so, or to finance the cost of our other activities, we may issue additional equity securities that could dilute our stockholders’ stock ownership. We may also assume additional debt and incur impairment losses related to goodwill and other tangible assets if we acquire another company and this could negatively impact our earnings and results of operations.

 

Were our common stock to be considered penny stock, and therefore subject to the penny stock rules, U.S. broker-dealers may be discouraged from effecting transactions in shares of our common stock.

 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has adopted a number of rules to regulate “penny stock” that may restrict transactions involving shares of our common stock. Such rules include Rules 3a51-1, 15g-1, 15g-2, 15g-3, 15g-4, 15g-5, 15g-6, 15g-7, and 15g-9 under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These rules may have the effect of reducing the liquidity of penny stocks. “Penny stocks” generally are equity securities with a price of less than $5.00 per share (other than securities registered on certain national securities exchanges or quoted on the Nasdaq Stock Market if current price and volume information with respect to transactions in such securities is provided by the exchange or system). Our securities have in the past constituted “penny stock” within the meaning of the rule. Were our common stock to again be considered “penny stock” and therefore become subject to the penny stock rules, the additional sales practice and disclosure requirements imposed upon U.S. broker-dealers may discourage such broker-dealers from effecting transactions in shares of our common stock, which could severely limit the market liquidity of such shares and impede their sale in the secondary market.

 

A U.S. broker-dealer selling a penny stock to anyone other than an established customer or “accredited investor” (generally, an individual with net worth in excess of $1.0 million or an annual income exceeding $0.2 million, or $0.3 million together with his or her spouse) must make a special suitability determination for the purchaser and must receive the purchaser’s written consent to the transaction prior to sale, unless the broker-dealer or the transaction is otherwise exempt. In addition, the penny stock regulations require the U.S. broker-dealer to deliver, prior to any transaction involving a penny stock, a disclosure schedule prepared in accordance with SEC standards relating to the penny stock market, unless the broker-dealer or the transaction is otherwise exempt. A U.S. broker-dealer is also required to disclose commissions payable to the U.S. broker-dealer and the registered representative and current quotations for the securities. Finally, a U.S. broker-dealer is required to submit monthly statements disclosing recent price information with respect to the penny stock held in a customer’s account and information with respect to the limited market in penny stocks.

 

Stockholders should be aware that, according to the SEC, the market for penny stocks has suffered in recent years from patterns of fraud and abuse. Such patterns include (i) control of the market for the security by one or a few broker-dealers that are often related to the promoter or issuer; (ii) manipulation of prices through prearranged matching of purchases and sales and false and misleading press releases; (iii) “boiler room” practices involving high-pressure sales tactics and unrealistic price projections by inexperienced sales persons; (iv) excessive and undisclosed bid-ask differentials and markups by selling broker-dealers; and (v) the wholesale dumping of the same securities by promoters and broker-dealers after prices have been manipulated to a desired level, resulting in investor losses. Our management is aware of the abuses that have occurred historically in the penny stock market. Although we do not expect to be in a position to dictate the behavior of the market or of broker-dealers who participate in the market, management will strive within the confines of practical limitations to prevent the described patterns from being established with respect to our securities in the event our common stock were to again be considered a penny stock and therefore become subject to penny stock rules.

 

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We do not expect to pay dividends for the foreseeable future, and any return on investment may be limited to potential future appreciation on the value of our common stock.

 

We currently intend to retain any future earnings to support the development and expansion of our business and do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the foreseeable future. We do not pay dividends on our Series 2 Preferred. If dividends are declared on common stock, dividends are payable on our outstanding 10% debenture and all of our outstanding warrants to the same extent that the holders would have participated in the dividend if the holders held the number of shares of common stock acquirable upon complete conversion of the debenture and/ or exercise of the warrants (as applicable) without regard to any limitations on exercise thereof, immediately before the date of which a record is taken for such dividend. Our payment of any future dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors after taking into account various factors, including without limitation, our financial condition, operating results, cash needs, growth plans and the terms of any credit agreements that we may be a party to at the time. To the extent we do not pay dividends, our stock may be less valuable because a return on investment will only occur if and to the extent our stock price appreciates, which may never occur. In addition, investors must rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation as the only way to realize their investment, and if the price of our stock does not appreciate, then there will be no return on investment. Investors seeking cash dividends should not purchase our common stock.

 

The rights of the holders of common stock may be impaired by outstanding class of Series 2 Preferred and potential issuance of other class(es) of preferred stock in the future.

 

Our certificate of incorporation gives our board of directors the right to create new series of preferred stock. As a result, the board of directors may, without stockholder approval, issue preferred stock with voting, dividend, conversion, liquidation or other rights which could adversely affect the voting power and equity interest of the holders of common stock. Preferred stock, which could be issued with the right to more than one vote per share, could be utilized as a method of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change of control. The possible impact on takeover attempts could adversely affect the price of our common stock. Although we have no present intention to issue any additional shares of preferred stock or to create any new series of preferred stock, we may issue such shares in the future.

 

Anti-takeover provisions may limit the ability of another party to acquire us, which could cause our stock price to decline.

 

We are a Delaware corporation. Delaware law contains provisions that could discourage, delay or prevent a third party from acquiring us, even if doing so may be beneficial to our stockholders, which could cause our stock price to decline. In addition, these provisions could limit the price investors would be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock.

 

Non-U.S. investors may have difficulty effecting service of process against us or enforcing judgments against us in courts of non-U.S. jurisdictions.

 

We are a company incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware. All of our directors and officers reside in the United States. It may not be possible for non-U.S. investors to effect service of process within their own jurisdictions upon our company and our directors and officers. In addition, it may not be possible for non-U.S. investors to collect from our company, its directors and officers, judgments obtained in courts in such non-U.S. jurisdictions predicated on non-U.S. legislation.

 

If securities or industry analysts do not publish or cease publishing research or reports about us, our business or our market, or if they change their recommendations regarding our stock adversely, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

 

The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. If any of the analysts who may cover us change their recommendation regarding our stock adversely, or provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors, our stock price would likely decline. If any analyst who may cover us were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

 

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ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Through our subsidiaries, we lease the land and buildings for 29 operating restaurant locations in the U.S. The terms for our leases vary from two to twenty years and have options to extend. We lease some of our restaurant facilities under “triple net” leases that require us to pay minimum rent, real estate taxes, maintenance costs and insurance premiums and, in some instances, percentage rent based on sales in excess of specified amounts. Our corporate employees work from home.

 

Our facilities are suitable and adequate for our business as it is presently conducted.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Various subsidiaries of Amergent are delinquent in payment of payroll taxes to taxing authorities. As of December 31, 2021 and 2020, approximately $2.0 million and $3.0 million, respectively, of employee and employer taxes (including estimated penalties and interest) was accrued but not remitted in years prior to 2019 to certain taxing authorities by certain of these subsidiaries for cash compensation paid. As a result, these subsidiaries are liable for such payroll taxes. These subsidiaries have received warnings and demands from the taxing authorities and management is prioritizing and working with the taxing authorities to make these payments in order to avoid further penalties and interest. Failure to remit these payments promptly could result in increased penalty fees.

 

During 2021 and 2020 the Company was in arrears on rent due on several of its leases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Company has pending litigation related to 7 sites of which 4 have permanently closed. The outcome of this litigation could result in the permanent closure of additional restaurant locations as well as the possibility of the Company being required to pay interest and damages, modify certain leases on unfavorable terms and could result in material impairments to the Company’s assets.

 

Amergent is not aware of changes to claims previously reported or other claims that it deems as claims outside the ordinary course of business or otherwise, at this time, material.

 

From time to time, Amergent may be involved in legal proceedings and claims that arise in the ordinary course of business, and may generally be covered by insurance or otherwise determined to be immaterial to the Company’s financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR COMMON EQUITY AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

As of December 31, 2021, we had 15,706,736 shares of our common stock issued and outstanding, respectively, and approximately 230 shareholders of record and approximately 2,500 shareholders. Amergent’s common stock is quoted on the OTCQB market of the OTC Markets Group, Inc. under the symbol “AMGH.”

 

We currently have no expectation to pay cash dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future.

 

UNREGISTERED SALES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

None.

 

EQUITY COMPENSATION PLANS

 

Pursuant to the SEC’s Regulation S-K Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation 106.01, the information required by this Item pursuant to Item 201(d) of Regulation S-K relating to securities authorized for issuance under the Corporation’s equity compensation plans is located in Item 12 of Part III of this Annual Report and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

ITEM 6. [RESERVED]

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

You should read the following discussion of our results of operations and financial condition together with our audited consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 including the notes thereto, included in this Report. The discussion below contains forward-looking statements and involves numerous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A. “Risk Factors”. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to update or revise such statements to reflect new circumstances or unanticipated events as they occur, and you are urged to review and consider disclosures that we make in this and other reports that discuss factors germane to our business.

 

Overview

 

We operate and franchise a system-wide total of 42 fast casual restaurants, of which 29 are company-owned (an additional location opened January 4, 2022) and included in our consolidated and combined financial statements and 13 are owned and operated by franchisees under franchise agreements.

 

Our business strategy includes expansion through internal growth by acquiring complementary businesses.

 

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American Burger Company (“ABC”) is a fast-casual dining chain consisting of 2 company-owned locations in North Carolina and New York, known for its diverse menu featuring fresh salads, customized burgers, milk shakes, sandwiches, and beer and wine.

 

BGR: The Burger Joint (“BGR”) was acquired in March 2015 and consists of 7 company-owned locations and 7 franchisee-operated locations in the United States. The former locations in the Middle East are closed.

 

Little Big Burger (“LBB”) was acquired in September 2015 and currently consists of 16 company-owned locations in the Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Charlotte, North Carolina areas. One location was temporarily closed at December 31, 2021 due to lack of available employees. The newest location at the University of Oregon was leased in August 2021 and became operational in December 2021. Of the company-owned restaurants, 8 of those locations are operated under partnership agreements with investors where we control the management and operations of the stores and the partner supplies the capital to open the store in exchange for a non-controlling interest.

 

Pie Squared Holdings (“PIE”) was acquired on August 30, 2021. PIE, directly and through its 4 wholly-owned subsidiaries, owns, operates and franchises pizza restaurants operating under the tradename PizzaRev. The PizzaRev stores consist of 3 company-owned locations, one of which opened on January 4, 2022, and nine franchised locations. Three of these franchised locations were not open at the time of purchase and are not included in our total store count. One additional franchise location is planned to open in 2022.

 

The Jantzen Beach, Oregon gaming location was a former Hooters of America location and is only open for online gaming sales, drinks and a limited food menu.

 

Hooters of America redeemed a portion of the Company’s ownership interest in the entity and paid $0.3 million to the Company in October 2021. After the redemption, the Company’s effective economic interest in Hooters of America was less than 1%. We do not intend to open any new Hooters franchises in the near future.

 

Recent Developments

 

Recent Business Trends

 

Throughout 2021 we faced varying degrees of COVID-19 pandemic related pressures. In spite of this, our sales have continued to increase from the second through the fourth quarters of 2021 when compared to the corresponding quarters in 2020. Our revenue in the fourth quarters of 2021 and 2020 was $4.8 million and $4.5 million, respectively, and our revenue for fiscal years 2021 and 2020 was $20.7 million and $18.8 million, respectively. This represents a fourth quarter increase in revenue of 6.7% and an annual increase in revenue of 10.6%.

 

Looking forward to 2022, we anticipate continued inflationary pressures on our restaurant cost of sales and restaurant operating expenses. We also face a tight and competitive labor market throughout all locations. Our management team has and will continue to innovatively approach these challenges.

 

Future Plans

 

In August 2021, we acquired Pie Squared Holdings, which came with three company-owned stores and nine franchised stores. These stores operate under the tradename PizzaRev. We anticipate acquiring additional existing restaurant concepts during 2022.

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

 

In early March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was declared to be a National Public Health Emergency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local legislative bodies and health departments, began issuing orders related to social distancing requirements, reduced restaurant seating capacity and other restrictions which resulted in a significant reduction in traffic at our restaurants. As of mid-March 2020, the ordinances tightened, and dine-in capacity was eliminated or severely restricted. By April 2020, at the request of most state and local legislative bodies, we closed all of our dining rooms and began to operate in a take-out and delivery only capacity. In early May 2020, states began allowing the re-opening of dining rooms in a limited capacity and by the end of June 2020, we had re-opened dining rooms in approximately 95% of our restaurants, while adhering to social distancing restrictions, which limited the number of guests we could serve in our restaurants at one time. During November 2020, rising case rates resulted in certain jurisdictions implementing restrictions that again reduced dining room capacity or mandated the re-closure of dining rooms. As a result, we began fiscal 2021 with significant limitations on our operations, which over the course of the fiscal year varied widely from time to time, state to state and city to city; however, nonetheless negatively impacted our sales. Once COVID-19 vaccines were approved and moved into wider distribution in the United States in early to mid-2021, public health conditions improved and almost all of the COVID-19 restrictions on businesses eased.

 

While cases continue to decline, and staffing continues to improve, overall consumer and business activity remains muted in certain markets as consumer behaviors have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and some businesses have yet to bring employees back into their offices. Our restaurant operations have been and could again in the future be disrupted by team member staffing issues because of illness, exclusion, fear of contracting COVID-19 or caring for family members due to COVID-19, legal requirements for employee vaccinations or COVID testing, lack of labor supply, competitive labor pressures, or for other reasons. Furthermore, inflation has been and is elevated across our business, including food costs, due in part to the supply chain impacts of the pandemic. We remain in regular contact with our major suppliers and while, to date, we have not experienced significant disruptions in our supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we could see significant future disruptions should the impacts of the pandemic continue. Currently, national, state and local jurisdictions have removed their capacity restrictions on businesses and, therefore, our restaurants are serving customers in our dining rooms without social distancing requirements. However, it is possible additional outbreaks could lead to restrictive measures that could impact our guest demand and dining room capacity.

 

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PPP Loan

 

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which included the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) for small businesses. On April 27, 2020, Amergent received a PPP loan of $2.1 million. Due to the Spin-Off and Merger, Amergent was not publicly traded at the time of the loan application or funding. The note bears interest at 1% per year, matures in April 2022, and requires monthly interest and principal payments of approximately $0.1 million beginning in November 2020 and through maturity. The currently issued guidelines of the program allow for the loan proceeds to be forgiven if certain requirements are met. Any loan proceeds not forgiven will be repaid in full. The Company had applied for loan forgiveness in the full amount of the loan, but the request was initially denied. The Company discussed the forgiveness request with the government agency that granted the loan and in March 2022, the U.S. SBA reversed its initial decision and will once again review the Company’s application for loan forgiveness. No assurance can be given as to the amount, if any, of forgiveness. The application for forgiveness allowed the Company to defer the timing of repayment until the forgiveness assessment is completed.

 

On February 25, 2021, the Company received a second PPP loan in the amount of $2.0 million. The note bears interest at 1% per year, matures on February 25, 2026, and requires monthly principal and interest payments of approximately $45,000 beginning June 25, 2022 through maturity. The loan may be forgiven if certain criteria are met. No assurance can be given as to the amount, if any, of forgiveness. The Company will apply for complete forgiveness of this loan in 2022.

 

Employee Retention Credit

 

The Employee Retention Credit (“ERC”) under the CARES Act is a refundable tax credit which encourages businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible employers can qualify for up to $7,000 of credit for each employee based on qualified wages paid after December 31, 2020 and before January 1, 2022. Qualified wages are any wages paid to an employee (for employers that averaged fewer than 100 full-time employees in 2019) or the wages paid to an employee for the time that the employee is providing and not providing services (for employers that averaged more than 500 full-time employees in 2019) due to an economic hardship, specifically, either (1) a full or partial suspension of operations by order of a governmental authority due to COVID-19, or (2) a significant decline in gross receipts. The Company recognized $2.5 million of ERC as a contra-expense in the consolidated and combined statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021. The program ended on January 1, 2022.

 

Acquisition

 

On August 30, 2021, the Company purchased all of the outstanding membership interests in Pie Squared Holdings LLC (“Pie Squared Holdings”) pursuant to a Unit Purchase Agreement (“Purchase Agreement”). Pie Squared Holdings, directly and through its four wholly-owned subsidiaries, owns, operates and franchises pizza restaurants operating under the tradename PizzaRev. The PizzaRev stores consist of three company owned stores and six franchised locations. The purchase price is an 8% secured, convertible promissory note (“Note”) with a face value of $1.0 million and a fair value of $1.2 million at the acquisition date. Transaction costs of $0.2 million were incurred in connection with the acquisition and charged to general and administrative expenses in the consolidated and combined statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021.

 

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

 

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (“RRF”) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10.0 million per business and no more than $5.0 million per physical location. Prior to the acquisition, Pie Squared Holdings had obtained $10.0 million of funding under the RRF, of which $2.0 million was unspent as of the acquisition date. The Company used $0.5 million of this amount and recorded it as a contra-expense in the consolidated and combined statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021.

 

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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2021 COMPARED TO THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020

 

Our results of operations are summarized below:

 

   Twelve Months Ended     
   December 31, 2021   December 31, 2020     
(in thousands)  Amount   % of
Revenue*
   Amount   % of
Revenue*
   %
Change
 
Revenue:                         
Restaurant sales, net  $19,797    95.9%  $18,131    96.6%   9.2%
Gaming income, net   403    1.9%   292    1.6%   38.0%
Franchise income   452    2.2%   341    1.8%   32.6%
Total revenue   20,652         18,764           
                          
Expenses:                         
Restaurant cost of sales   6,172    31.2%   5,750    31.7%   7.3%
Restaurant operating expenses   13,262    67.0%   13,195    72.8%   0.5%
Restaurant pre-opening and closing expenses   8    %   288    1.6%   (97.2)%
General and administrative expenses   5,210    25.2%   4,692    25.0%   11.0%
Asset impairment charges   1,456    7.1%   1,578    8.4%   (7.7)%
Depreciation and amortization   1,047    5.1%   1,525    8.1%   (31.3)%
Employee retention credit and other grant income   (3,009)   (14.6)%       %   100.0%
Total expenses   24,146         27,028           
Operating loss   (3,494)        (8,264)          
Other income (expense):                         
Interest expense   (656)   (3.2)%   (684)   (3.6)%   (4.1)%
Change in fair value of derivative liabilities   119    0.6%   616    3.3%   (80.7)%
Change in fair value of investment   (244)   (1.2)%   (1,232)   (6.6)%   (80.2)%
Change in fair value of convertible promissory note   95    0.5%       %   100.0%
Debt extinguishment expense       %   (11,808)   (62.9)%   (100.0)%
Gain on sale of subsidiary   58    0.6%       %   100.0%
Gain on extinguished lease liabilities   412    2.0%   506    2.7%   (18.6)%
Other income   310    1.5%   282    1.5%   9.9%
Total other income (expense)   94         (12,320)          
Loss before income taxes   (3,400)        (20,584)          
Income tax expense   (118)   (0.6)%   (7)   %   1,585.7%
Consolidated and combined net loss  $(3,518)       $(20,591)          

 

* Restaurant cost of sales, operating expenses and pre-opening and closing expenses percentages are based on restaurant sales, net. Other percentages are based on total revenue.

 

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Revenue

 

Total revenue increased to $20.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $18.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.

 

   Year Ended December 31, 2021 
(in thousands)  Amount   % of Revenue 
Restaurant sales, net  $19,797    95.9%
Gaming income, net   403    1.9%
Franchise income   452    2.1%
Total revenue  $20,652    100.0%

 

   Year Ended December 31, 2020 
(in thousands)  Amount   % of Revenue 
Restaurant sales, net  $18,131    96.6%
Gaming income, net   292    1.6%
Franchise income   341    1.8%
Total revenue  $18,764    100.0%

 

  Revenue from restaurant sales increased 9.2% to $19.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to $18.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The primary reasons for the increase were due to increased occupancy and declining hesitancy from the public to dine in public locations as a result of the rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
  Gaming income increased 38.0% to $0.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The primary reason for this increase was due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
     
  Franchise income increased 32.6% to $0.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to $0.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2020. The primary reason for this increase was due to our franchise stores recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning during the second quarter of 2021 and continuing through year end based on declining hesitancy from the public to dine in public locations.

 

Restaurant cost of sales

 

Restaurant cost of sales increased to $6.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $5.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The restaurant cost of sales as a percentage of restaurant sales decreased to 31.2% for the year ended December 31, 2021 from 31.7% for the year ended December 31, 2020. The overall increase in cost of sales was due to the 9.2% increase in restaurant revenue to $19.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to $18.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.

 

Restaurant operating expenses

 

Restaurant operating expenses increased to $13.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 from $13.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The restaurant operating expenses as a percentage of restaurant operating expenses decreased to 67.0% for the year ended December 31, 2021 from 72.8% for the year ended December 31, 2020 and was driven by the overall increase in restaurant revenue and the corresponding adjustment of labor at the store level and tighter controls of store level operating expenses.

 

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Restaurant pre-opening and closing expenses

 

There was $8,000 in restaurant pre-opening and closing expenses for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The decrease is primarily due to limited restaurant openings and closings in the year ended December 31, 2021. During the year ended December 31, 2021, we had three PizzaRev stores and the LBB University of Oregon that opened but did not incur any pre-opening expenses.

 

General and administrative expense (“G&A”)

 

G&A expenses increased to $5.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, from $4.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. During the year ended December 31, 2021, audit, legal and other professional services increased by $0.3 million due to transaction costs of $0.2 million incurred in connection with the acquisition of Pie Squared Holdings, as well as $0.1 million of costs incurred due to negotiating lease terminations, extensions and relief from COVID-19 closures and the related accounting fees. There was also an increase of $0.2 million in advertising, insurance and other expenses and an increase of $0.1 million in salary and benefits after these amounts had been reduced in 2020 due to less need during the COVID-19 pandemic. These increases were offset by a $0.1 million decrease in shareholder services and fees incurred in connection with the spin-off from Chanticleer in 2020. Significant components of G&A expenses are summarized as follows:

 

   Year Ended December 31, 
(in thousands)  2021   2020 
Audit, legal and other professional services  $2,314   $2,013 
Salary and benefits   2,129    1,998 
Advertising, insurance and other   672    494 
Shareholder services and fees   31    169 
Travel and entertainment   64    18 
Total G&A Expenses  $5,210   $4,692 

 

Asset impairment charges

 

Asset impairment charges decreased to $1.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to $1.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2020. During the year ended December 31, 2021, we recorded an impairment on trademark/tradenames of approximately $0.3 million, property and equipment of approximately $0.4 million and right-of-use asset of approximately $0.7 million primarily due to ongoing cash flow implications resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

During the year ended December 31, 2020, we recorded an impairment on trademark/tradenames of approximately $0.3 million, property and equipment of approximately $0.8 million and right-of-use asset of approximately $0.5 million primarily due to the lower level of cash flow at the store level along with the permanent closures related to the impact of COVID-19 on operations.

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

Depreciation and amortization expense was $1.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to $1.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. We have curtailed opening new stores and making acquisitions of property and equipment in the past several years due to our financial condition. Recent impairments of property and equipment and intangible assets have also caused a decrease in the gross value of the underlying assets, thereby resulting in a decrease in depreciation and amortization expense.

 

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Other income (expense)

 

Interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2021 of $0.7 million was comparable to the comparative period in 2020 of $0.7 million. This is consistent with the low interest rate on new borrowings in 2021.

 

During the year ended December 31, 2021, the change in fair value of derivative liabilities was a gain of $0.1 million related to the True-Up Payment derivative. Derivative liabilities are marked to market on a quarterly basis and fluctuations in value are reflective of the fair market value at the point in time at which the instruments are measured. During the year ended December 31, 2020, the change in fair value of derivative liabilities and warrants was a gain of $0.6 million. The income in the year ended December 31, 2020 was primarily due to a decrease in our stock price, thus driving a decrease in the value of the derivative instruments. The True-Up Payment was settled in July 2021 with a payment of $66,136.

 

In connection with the Merger, the Company obtained warrants to purchase 186,101 shares of Sonnet at $0.001 per share. The warrants were exercised in 2020 and common stock is now held. The share price of Sonnet has decreased since the Merger and a loss on investment of $0.2 million was recognized for the year ended December 31, 2021. Additionally, shares of Sonnet were sold in 2021 and we received proceeds of $0.1 million. We recognized a loss on investment of $1.2 million during the year ended December 31, 2020. This common stock will continue to be recorded at fair value until the securities are sold. At December 31, 2021, we held 122,064 shares with a fair value of approximately $50,000.

 

During the year ended December 31, 2021, we issued an 8% secured, convertible promissory note as consideration for the acquisition of Pie Squared Holdings. We have elected to measure the convertible promissory note at fair value, with changes in fair value recognized in operations. We recognized a gain on fair value of $0.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2021. There were no similar transactions during the year ended December 31, 2020.

 

On April 1, 2020, we exchanged the then existing 8% non-convertible notes for 10% convertible notes. Warrants to purchase common stock were also issued in connection with the issuance of the new notes. We recorded an $11.8 million loss on the extinguishment of the 8% notes based on the difference in the carrying value of the old notes and the fair value of the new notes and warrants issued.

 

On October 8, 2021, we sold West End Wings LTD, our Hooters restaurant located in Nottingham, England, to Hard Four Consultancy Limited (UK) for the final purchase price of £0.4 million (approximately $0.6 million). We recognized a gain on sale of subsidiary of $0.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2021. There were no similar transactions during the year ended December 31, 2020.

 

During the year ended December 31, 2021, we recognized a gain on extinguished lease liabilities of $0.4 million, compared to $0.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, due to the derecognition of operating lease liabilities resulting from our negotiation of the cancellation of our obligations under certain lease agreements. The cancellations resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2021 COMPARED TO THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020

 

   Year Ended December 31, 
(in thousands)  2021   2020 
Net cash used in operating activities  $(4,474)  $(5,617)
Net cash used in investing activities   2,978    (64)
Net cash provided by financing activities   1,902    7,108 
Effect of foreign currency exchange rates   (16)     
   $390   $1,427 

 

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Cash used in operating activities was approximately $4.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. This use of cash was primarily driven by the net loss incurred of $3.5 million offset by non-cash charges to operations of $3.2 million. The non-cash charges in 2021 consist primarily of asset impairment charges of $1.5 million, depreciation and amortization of property and equipment, intangible assets and right-of-use assets totaling $2.0 million and amortization of debt discount of $0.2 million, offset by gain on extinguished lease liabilities of $0.4 million and gain on sale of subsidiary of $0.1 million. The balance of the change in cash flows from operating activities was related to net movements in asset and liability accounts.

 

Cash used in operating activities was approximately $5.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This use of cash was primarily driven by the net loss incurred of $20.6 million offset by non-cash charges to operations of $16.2 million. The non-cash charges in 2020 consist primarily of loss on debt extinguishment of $11.8 million, loss on investments of $1.2 million, asset impairment charges of $1.6 million and depreciation and amortization of property and equipment, intangible assets and right-of-use assets totaling $2.6 million, offset by gain in fair value of derivative liabilities of $0.6 million and gain on extinguished lease liabilities of $0.5 million. The balance of the change in cash flows from operating activities was related to net movements in asset and liability accounts.

 

Cash provided by investing activities during the year ended December 31, 2021 was primarily related to $2.0 million cash and restricted cash acquired in connection with the acquisition of Pie Squared Holdings, $0.6 million net proceeds from the sale of the UK subsidiary and $0.5 million proceeds from the sale of investments. Cash used in investing activities during the year ended December 31, 2020 was $0.1 million for the purchase of property and equipment.

 

Cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2021 was approximately $1.9 million compared to cash provided by financing activities of approximately $7.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. Cash provided by financing activities during 2021 was primarily related to proceeds of $2.0 million from a PPP loan. The primary drivers of the cash provided by financing activities during the year ended December 31, 2020 were proceeds from the bridge preferred equity investment, the exercise of warrants, and the $5.4 million of Merger Consideration received.

 

LIQUIDITY, CAPITAL RESOURCES AND GOING CONCERN

 

Liquidity, Capital Resources and Going Concern

 

As of December 31, 2021, our cash balance was $2.3 million, of which $1.7 million was restricted cash, our working capital deficiency was $12.5 million and we had significant near-term commitments and contractual obligations. The level of additional cash needed to fund operations and our ability to conduct business for the next 12 months will be influenced primarily by the following factors:

 

  our ability to access the capital and debt markets to satisfy current obligations and operate the business;
  our ability to qualify for and access financial stimulus programs available through federal and state government programs;
  our ability to refinance or otherwise extend maturities of current debt obligations;
  our ability to manage our operating expenses and maintain gross margins;
  popularity of and demand for our fast-casual dining concepts; and
  general economic conditions and changes in consumer discretionary income.

 

We have typically funded our operating costs, acquisition activities, working capital requirements and capital expenditures with proceeds from the issuances of our common stock and other financing arrangements, including convertible debt, lines of credit, notes payable, capital leases, and other forms of external financing.

 

On March 10, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized the novel COVID-19 virus as a global pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has resulted in a significant impact throughout the hospitality industry. The Company has been impacted due to restrictions placed on them by state and local governments that caused temporary restaurant closures or significantly reduced the Company’s ability to operate, temporarily restricting the Company’s restaurants to take-out only. It is difficult to estimate the length or severity of this outbreak; however, the Company has made operational changes, as needed, to reduce the impact. However, there can be no certainty regarding the length and severity of the outbreak and such its ultimate financial impact on the restaurant operations.

 

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As Amergent executes its business plan over the next 12 months, it intends to carefully monitor the impact of its working capital needs and cash balances relative to the availability of cost-effective debt and equity financing. In the event that capital is not available, Amergent may then have to scale back or freeze its operations plans, sell assets on less than favorable terms, reduce expenses, and/or curtail future acquisition plans to manage its liquidity and capital resources.

 

The Company’s current operating losses, combined with its working capital deficit and uncertainties regarding the impact of COVID-19, raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

 

In addition, our business is subject to additional risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A. “Risk Factors”.

 

The consolidated and combined financial statements do not include any adjustments relating to the recoverability and classification of recorded asset amounts and classification of liabilities that might be necessary should the Company be unable to continue as a going concern.

 

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

Our reported results of operations and financial position are dependent upon the application of certain accounting policies and estimates that require subjective or complex judgments. Such estimates are inherently uncertain and changes in such estimates could have a significant impact on reported results and balances for the periods presented as well as future periods. The following is a description of what we consider to be our most critical accounting policies.

 

Leases

 

We determine if a contract contains a lease at inception. Our material operating leases consist of restaurant locations and office space. Our leases generally have remaining terms of 1-20 years and most include options to extend the leases for additional 5-year periods. Generally, the lease term is the minimum of the noncancelable period of the lease or the lease term inclusive of reasonably certain renewal periods up to a term of 20 years. If the estimate of our reasonably certain lease term was changed, our depreciation and rent expense could differ materially.

 

Operating lease assets and liabilities are recognized at the lease commencement date. Operating lease liabilities represent the present value of lease payments not yet paid. Operating lease assets represent our right to use an underlying asset and are based upon the operating lease liabilities adjusted for prepayments or accrued lease payments, initial direct costs, lease incentives, and impairment of operating lease assets. To determine the present value of lease payments not yet paid, we estimate incremental borrowing rates corresponding to the reasonably certain lease term. As we have no committed credit facilities, secured or otherwise, we estimate this rate based on prevailing financial market conditions, comparable company and credit analysis, and management judgment. If the estimate of our incremental borrowing rate was changed, our operating lease assets and liabilities could differ materially.

 

Estimated Lease Termination and Other Closing Costs

 

Once we have determined that a restaurant location is to be closed, we estimate the expected proceeds to be received from such disposal and impair the carrying value of the net assets of such locations to this estimate and report these net assets as assets held for sale. Our estimate of disposal proceeds is dependent upon multiple assumptions including our ability to identify a buyer as well as the general market for commercial real estate at the expected time of disposal. Actual results could significantly differ from these estimates, which could result in a significant impact to reported operations in future periods. Assets that have been impaired to their estimated disposal proceeds are maintained at the lower of this new carrying value or the most recently developed estimate of eventual proceeds.

 

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Intangible Assets

 

Trademark/Tradenames

 

Certain of the Company’s trademark/tradenames have been classified as indefinite-lived intangible assets and are not amortized, but instead are reviewed for impairment at least annually or more frequently if indicators of impairment exist. Definite lived intangible assets are assessed for impairment using methods discussed below in the long-lived assets section. The Company’s indefinite-lived intangible assets are tested for impairment at least annually by estimating their fair value and comparing it to the asset’s carrying value. The Company estimates the fair value of indefinite-lived tradenames using the relief-from-royalty method, which requires assumptions related to projected sales from its annual long-range plan; assumed royalty rates that could be payable if the Company did not own the trademarks; and a discount rate.

 

Long-Lived Assets

 

Long-lived assets, such as property and equipment, operating lease assets, and purchased intangible assets subject to depreciation and amortization, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Some of the events or changes in circumstances that would trigger an impairment test include, but are not limited to:

 

  significant under-performance relative to expected and/or historical results (negative comparable sales growth or operating cash flows for two consecutive years);
     
  significant negative industry or economic trends;
     
  knowledge of transactions involving the sale of similar property at amounts below the Company’s carrying value; or
     
  the Company’s expectation to dispose of long-lived assets before the end of their estimated useful lives, even though the assets do not meet the criteria to be classified as “Held for Sale.”

 

If circumstances require a long-lived asset or asset group be tested for possible impairment, the Company first compares undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by that asset or asset group to its carrying value. If the carrying value of the long-lived asset or asset group is not recoverable on an undiscounted cash flow basis, an impairment is recognized to the extent that the carrying value exceeds its fair value. Fair value is determined through various valuation techniques, including discounted cash flow models, quoted market values and third-party independent appraisals, as considered necessary.

 

Due to the continued impact of this pandemic on the Company’s business, management performed an impairment analysis of its long-lived assets at each quarter end in 2021 and 2020, including December 31, 2021 and 2020, and determined that the carrying value of the Company’s trademark/tradenames intangible asset, property and equipment and operating lease assets were impaired for an aggregate amount of $1.5 million and $1.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The determination was based on the best judgment of management for the future of the assets and on information known at the time of the assessment.

 

Goodwill

 

Goodwill is not subject to amortization but is tested at least annually or when impairment indicators are present. When evaluating goodwill for impairment, the Company may first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit is impaired. If the Company does not perform a qualitative assessment, or determines that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds its carrying amount, a quantitative assessment is performed to calculate the estimated fair value of the reporting unit. If the carrying amount of the reporting unit exceeds the estimated fair value, an impairment charge is recorded to reduce the carrying value to the estimated fair value. The Company’s decision to perform a qualitative impairment assessment is influenced by a number of factors, including the significance of the excess of the reporting unit’s estimated fair value over carrying value at the last quantitative assessment date, the amount of time in between quantitative fair value assessments, and the price of our common stock. Impairment is measured as the excess of carrying value of the goodwill to its estimated fair value. Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business, management performed an impairment analysis of goodwill as of each quarter end in 2021 and 2020, including December 31, 2021 and 2020. No goodwill impairment was required in 2021 and 2020.

 

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Derivative Liabilities

 

Accounting for the derivative liabilities relating to the Company’s true-up payment, warrants and debt conversion feature requires Amergent’s management to exercise judgment and make estimates and assumptions regarding fair value. Each derivative liability was initially recorded at fair value upon the date of issuance and is subsequently remeasured to fair value at each reporting date, with changes recognized in the consolidated and combined statement of operations until the liability expires or qualifies for equity classification. See Note 12 to the consolidated and combined financial statements for a discussion of these liabilities. In July 2021, the true-up payment was made and there was no derivative liability as of December 31, 2021.

 

Business Combination Accounting

 

Accounting for assets acquired, liabilities assumed and consideration transferred in a business combination requires Amergent’s management to exercise judgment and make estimates and assumptions regarding fair value. The Company acquired Pie Squared Holdings during the year ended December 31, 2021, resulting in the Company recording the assets acquired and liabilities assumed at fair value on the acquisition date, as well as fair valuing the convertible promissory note issued as consideration for the business combination. The Company elected the fair value option to account for the convertible promissory note. The convertible promissory note was initially recorded at fair value at the acquisition date and will be subsequently remeasured to fair value at each reporting date, with changes recognized in the consolidated and combined statement of operations until the liability is repaid or converted into common stock.

 

In addition, the Company assumed all the rights and obligations of Pie Squared Holdings that arose from transactions of Pie Squared Holdings prior to the business combination, both stated rights and obligations as well as those that are contingent. Pie Squared Holdings applied for and received an approximately $10.0 million grant from the U.S. SBA under the RRF and used approximately $8.0 million to repay existing debt of Pie Squared Holdings and to fund some of its operating expenses. Under the RRF there is a requirement that the grant monies be for “eligible uses.” The Company, through the structure of the acquisition, is now responsible that the grant proceeds were, in fact, properly obtained and disbursed for “eligible uses.” If it is determined that Pie Squared Holdings obtained the grant improperly or the disbursement of such grant monies were not “eligible uses,” then the Company would be responsible for the ramifications of such actions, including repayment of the approximately $10.0 million of grant monies, among other items. Management completed its analysis of this contingency and concluded that, at this time, a liability does not need to be recorded for this contingency. In connection with the acquisition, the Company obtained an indemnification from the sellers which is inclusive of any matters related to the RRF.

 

Modification of Debt

 

When we change the terms of existing notes payable, we evaluate the amendments under ASC 470-50, Debt Modification and Extinguishment to determine whether the change should be treated as a modification or as a debt extinguishment. This evaluation includes analyzing whether there are significant and consequential changes to the economic substance of the note. If the change is deemed insignificant then the change is considered a debt modification, whereas if the change is substantial the change is reflected as a debt extinguishment.

 

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

 

A description of recently issued accounting pronouncements that may potentially impact our financial position and results of operations is disclosed in Note 2 to the consolidated and combined financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

As a smaller reporting company, Amergent is not required to provide the information required by this Item 7A.

 

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ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

Amergent Hospitality Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Table of Contents

 

 

Page

Number

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (PCAOB ID 677) 40
Consolidated and Combined Balance Sheets 43
Consolidated and Combined Statements of Operations 44
Consolidated and Combined Statements of Comprehensive Loss 45
Consolidated and Combined Statements of Stockholders’ Deficit 46
Consolidated and Combined Statements of Cash Flows 48
Notes to the Consolidated and Combined Financial Statements 50

 

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REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the Board of Directors and Stockholders

Amergent Hospitality Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated and combined balance sheets of Amergent Hospitality Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, the related consolidated and combined statements of operations, comprehensive loss, stockholders’ deficit, and cash flows for the years then ended, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

Substantial Doubt about the Company’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern

 

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. As discussed in Note 1 to the financial statements, the Company incurred $3.5 million in losses for the year ended December 31, 2021, that included $1.5 million in asset impairments, and the Company has a working capital deficit of approximately $12.5 million as of December 31, 2021. These conditions raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Management’s evaluations of the events and conditions and management’s plans regarding those matters are also described in Note 1. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

Basis for Opinion

 

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

Critical Audit Matters

 

The critical audit matters communicated below are matters arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that were communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relate to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matters below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matters or on the accounts or disclosures to which they relate.

 

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Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and Operating Lease Assets

 

Critical Audit Matter Description –

 

The Company periodically evaluates the carrying amount of long-lived assets when events and circumstances warrant such a review to ascertain if any assets have been impaired. As a result of the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company, management performed an impairment analysis at the store-level, which represents the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are independent of the cash flows of other assets. The carrying amount of long-lived assets and operating lease assets, is considered impaired when the carrying value of the asset group exceeds the expected future cash flows from the asset group. As of December 31, 2021, long-lived assets aggregated to $4.0 million and operating lease assets aggregated to $8.0 million. During fiscal year 2021, the Company recorded impairment charges of $747,000 and $708,000 to long-lived assets and operating lease assets, respectively.

 

Inherent in the impairment analysis of long-lived assets and operating lease assets are certain significant judgments and estimates related to forecasted cash flows and revenues. As disclosed by management, changes in these assumptions can significantly impact the valuation of long-lived assets and operating lease assets, and the impairment charge that is recorded.

 

How the Critical Audit Matter Was Addressed in the Audit –

 

Our audit procedures related to the forecasted cash flows and revenues used in the long-lived asset and operating lease asset impairment analyses included the following:

 

- Obtaining an understanding of the relevant controls related to management’s evaluation of long-lived asset impairment analyses.
   
- Evaluating the reasonableness of management’s cash flow forecasts by comparing the forecasts to historical performance, considering actual financial performance and management expectations for future performance.
   
- Performing procedures including reviewing the sensitivity over the assumptions used in the impairment analysis to assess their impact on the determination of fair value.

 

Impairment Assessment of Goodwill and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets

 

Critical Audit Matter Description –

 

As described in Note 7 to the combined and consolidated financial statements, the Company had a goodwill balance of $7.8 million, and an indefinite lived tradename balance of $2.3 million at December 31, 2021.

 

- Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are tested for impairment at least annually at the reporting unit level or more frequently when events occur, or circumstances change. The evaluation requires a comparison of the estimated fair value of the asset to the carrying value of the asset.  If the carrying value of the asset exceeds its fair value, an impairment charge is recorded.

 

The Company utilized a third-party consultant to perform an impairment test on both goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets. As the Company has a single reporting unit, management utilized a market capitalization approach in determining the fair value of the entity as part of the impairment assessment of goodwill. The Company utilized a relief from royalty method to estimate the fair value of indefinite-lived tradenames. As disclosed by management, changes in key assumptions in the relief from royalty approach could have a significant impact on the estimate of future cash flows and therefore, on the amount of any impairment charge. The determination of an impairment indicator on goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets requires management judgments and involves significant assumptions.

 

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How the Critical Matter Was Addressed in the Audit –

 

The primary audit procedures we performed to address this critical audit matter included:

 

- Obtaining an understanding of the relevant controls related to management’s evaluation of goodwill and other indefinite-lived asset impairment analyses.
   
- Evaluating management’s determination of reporting units and segments
   
- Reviewing and independently corroborating management’s calculation of the fair value of the Company, which consists of a single reporting unit, utilizing a market capitalization approach.
   
- Reviewing management’s inputs, assumptions and projections utilized in the estimation of the fair value of the Company’s indefinite-lived tradenames.
   
- Testing completeness and accuracy of the data used in impairment analyses.
   
- Performing sensitivity analyses over the Company’s annual goodwill and indefinite-lived tradename impairment analyses.

 

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Program

 

Critical Audit Matter Description –

 

As described in Notes 2 and 3 of the combined and consolidated financial statements, the Company entered into a business combination transaction during the year ended December 31, 2021. Certain assets and liabilities acquired were as result of the acquired company applying for and receiving funds under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (“RRF”) Program which was part of a COVID-19 federal government stimulus program passed into law as part of the Coronavirus Aid, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). Management assessed the eligibility of the use of funds prior to the business combination as well as the eligibility of the acquired company to apply for the program in determining the fair value of the assets and liabilities to be recognized in the business combination accounting.

 

We identified this as a critical audit matter because of the judgments necessary to determine if a contingency was present regarding the acquired company’s application for and use of funds under the RRF program prior to the acquisition. This matter required substantial audit effort due judgements involved in determining program eligibility and proper use of funds as well as the materiality of the RRF proceeds received.

 

How the Critical Audit Matter Was Addressed in the Audit –

 

The primary audit procedures we performed to address this critical audit matter included:

 

- Obtaining an understanding of the relevant controls related to management’s accounting unusual and complex transactions.
   
- Reviewing management’s assessment that the acquired entity was eligible to receive funds under the RRF program as well as compared the funds utilized under the program to available guidance issued by the United States federal government.

 

/s/ Cherry Bekaert LLP  
   
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2015.  
   
Charlotte, North Carolina  
April 15, 2022  

 

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Amergent Hospitality Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Consolidated and Combined Balance Sheets 

 

(in thousands except share and per share data)  December 31, 2021   December 31, 2020 
ASSETS          
Current assets:          
Cash  $646   $678 
Restricted cash   1,672    1,250 
Investments   50    413 
Accounts and other receivables   865    314 
Inventories   182    173 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   360    291 
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS   3,775    3,119 
Property and equipment, net   3,115    3,703 
Operating lease assets   8,021    9,529 
Intangible assets, net   3,129    3,044 
Goodwill   7,810    8,591 
Investments   16    365 
Deposits and other assets   352    296 
TOTAL ASSETS  $26,218   $28,647 
           
LIABILITIES, REDEEMABLE SHARES, AND STOCKHOLDERS’ DEFICIT          
Current liabilities:          
Accounts payable and accrued expenses  $6,844   $8,667 
Current maturities of long-term debt and notes payable   3,264    2,339 
Current operating lease liabilities   4,599    4,209 
Deferred grant income   1,545     
Derivative liabilities       185 
TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES   16,252    15,400 
           
Long-term operating lease liabilities   8,644    10,678 
Contract liabilities   757    795 
Deferred tax liabilities   150    109 
Long-term debt and notes payable (includes debt measured at fair value of $599 at December 31, 2021)   6,593    4,354 
TOTAL LIABILITIES   32,396    31,336 
           
Commitments and contingencies (see Note 13)   -     -  
           
Convertible Preferred Stock: Series 2: $1,000 stated value; authorized 1,500 shares; 100 and 787 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively   58    460 
           
Stockholders’ Deficit:          
Common stock: $0.0001 par value; authorized 50,000,000 shares; 15,706,736 and 14,282,736 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively   2    1 
Additional paid-in-capital   92,882    92,433 
Accumulated deficit   (97,963)   (94,587)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss       (26)
Total Amergent Hospitality Group, Inc. Stockholders’ Deficit   (5,079)   (2,179)
Non-controlling interests   (1,157)   (970)
TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS’ DEFICIT   (6,236)   (3,149)
TOTAL LIABILITIES, REDEEMABLE SHARES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ DEFICIT  $26,218   $28,647 

 

See accompanying notes to the consolidated and combined financial statements

 

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Amergent Hospitality Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Consolidated and Combined Statements of Operations

 

         
   Year Ended 
(in thousands except share and per share data)  December 31, 2021   December 31, 2020 
Revenue:          
Restaurant sales, net  $19,797   $18,131 
Gaming income, net   403    292 
Franchise income   452    341 
Total revenue   20,652    18,764 
Expenses:          
Restaurant cost of sales   6,172    5,750 
Restaurant operating expenses   13,262    13,195 
Restaurant pre-opening and closing expenses   8    288 
General and administrative expenses   5,210    4,692 
Asset impairment charges   1,456    1,578 
Depreciation and amortization   1,047    1,525