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The company opened its first Swiss Chalet in 1954.
The company opened its first Swiss Chalet in 1954.
(KEVIN VAN PAASSEN FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Restaurant giant Cara merges with competitor

Two of Canada’s biggest restaurant operators are merging as Cara Operations swallows Prime Restaurants Inc., bringing banners such as Swiss Chalet, Montana’s and East Side Mario’s into one group with about 850 locations.

Cara, the owner of Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s with roots in the mid-nineteenth century, is set to buy Prime from Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., said people familiar with the situation. The valuation is not yet clear. Fairfax is said to be helping to finance the transaction and will keep a stake in the combined group.