Industry News | February 21, 2008

GE Capital Solutions, Franchise Finance Finances Purchase of 116 Papa John’s Restaurants

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With more than $30 million in financing from GE Capital Solutions, Franchise Finance, the Halifax Group purchased PJ United, Inc., the largest Papa John’s International, Inc. franchisee. The Halifax Group partnered with existing PJ United management to lead the buyout. Founded in 1991, PJ United operates 116 Papa John’s stores in six states.

“Working with GE Capital Solutions, Franchise Finance on our acquisition was a great experience,” says Ken Doyle, managing director, The Halifax Group. “Their in-depth industry knowledge and flexibility makes them a great organization with which to build a long term relationship.”

Douglas Stephens, founder and chief executive officer of PJ United, along with the Halifax Group, and the current PJ United management team provided the equity for the transaction. Former controlling shareholders sold their stake in the company, allowing the sale to Halifax. Committed to improving profits, customer service, and growth, Stephens and his original management team continue to run the franchise group.

"This buyout launches a prosperous relationship between Halifax and PJ United,” says Bill Kraus, senior vice president, GE Capital Solutions, Franchise Finance. “We look forward to the continued sharing of our capabilities and services, helping PJ United better plan and achieve their business goals,”

The Halifax Group is a private equity firm specializing in partnering with managers and entrepreneurs to recapitalize and grow lower middle-market companies across a variety of industries, including businesses in the healthcare services, wellness, infrastructure services and business services sectors. The firm maintains offices in Washington, D.C., Dallas, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina.