JPMorgan Chase has agreed to purchase restaurant platform The Infatuation, which owns the Zagat guidebook and review brand, according to a press release Thursday. Terms of the deal and its expected closing time frame were not disclosed.
The bank has been somewhat of a serial acquirer this year, making more than 30 deals, according to the Financial Times, which cited data from Refinitiv.
But those acquisitions won't directly involve banking. Because of its size, the nation's largest bank is barred by regulators from acquiring U.S.-based deposit-taking institutions. However, that hasn't kept CEO Jamie Dimon from looking at adjacent businesses.
JPMorgan agreed in June to buy British digital wealth management platform Nutmeg for a reported £700 million ($972.8 million).
In the same month, the bank announced it also plans to purchase San Francisco-based OpenInvest, a platform that helps financial professionals customize and report on values-based investments.
The bank also turned its attention internationally — announcing plans to take a 40% ownership stake in the Brazilian digital bank C6. JPMorgan also acknowledged in January that it would launch a digital banking platform in the U.K. this year.
At the end of 2020, the bank also purchased the fintech 55ip, a Boston-based startup that helps financial advisers automatically create tax-efficient portfolios.
This week's moves cemented Dimon’s promise last year that it would be "much more aggressive with acquisitions across the board."
In buying The Infatuation, JPMorgan seeks to expand culinary perks for its credit-card holders.
“We’ve long admired The Infatuation’s fresh approach to reaching people with relatable content that inspires new ways to experience life through food and drink, whether it’s down the street or across the globe,” Marianne Lake, co-head of the bank's consumer and community banking unit, said in a press release Thursday. “We look forward to building on our complementary missions of connecting people to experiences around a shared passion for dining."
The bank launched Chase Dining in October — a new rewards program for Sapphire and other select cardholders. Customers can book reservations through a web portal and use their rewards points to pay for dining purchases.
JPMorgan isn't the first financial services company to branch out in acquiring dining-focused brands. American Express acquired Resy, a platform for booking restaurant reservations, in 2019.
The Infatuation will function as an independent brand within JPMorgan after the deal closes, the bank said, and the dining platform's CEO, Chris Stang, will continue to lead that entity.
"This partnership with JPMorgan Chase provides an incredible opportunity for us to engage with more people around the world and continue on The Infatuation’s mission of delivering the most useful and trustworthy recommendations in dining and travel," Stang said. “We’re excited about the enormous potential that will be unlocked by combining our resources."
The Infatuation aims to provide accurate and honest recommendations on where to eat. It offers restaurant perks and discounts to its members and hosts a food and music festival called EEEEATSCON twice a year.
The Infatuation purchased the Zagat restaurant review brand from Google parent Alphabet in 2018 for an undisclosed sum.