Bojangles’ completed its all-cash deal with Durational Capital Management LP and The Jordan Company, L.P., the companies announced January 28. The new era will also begin with fresh management.
Two former McDonald’s executives, Jose Armario and Brian Unger, are joining Bojangles’ as chief executive officer and chief operating officer, respectively.
Armario’s 38-year restaurant career includes stops at Burger King, Luxottica Group, and McDonald’s. During his time with the fast-food leader, Armario held several leadership roles, including president of McDonald’s Chile, group president of McDonald’s Canada and Latin America, and EVP of worldwide supply chain, development, and franchising.
Unger began his 30-year-career with McDonald’s, spending more than 20 years with the company. He eventually rose to SVP of operations. Additionally, Unger worked as COO for Einstein Noah Restaurants Group, Inc., and was president and COO at seafood chain Long John Silver’s.
“I am thrilled to be joining the incredibly talented and hardworking team members at Bojangles’,” Armario said in a statement. “What this company and its franchise partners have accomplished over the last four decades is simply amazing. I have visited lots of Bojangles’ restaurants across the system where our dedicated team members are serving the highest quality, best-tasting food in the industry, and I look forward to being part of the exciting future that lies ahead for the Bojangles’ brand.”
Armario’s hiring ends a lengthy process for Bojangles’. On March 5, a day before the chain was scheduled to report fiscal 2017 and fourth-quarter earnings, it announced that chief executive officer Clifton Rutledge was resigning due to “personal reasons.” Rutledge joined Bojangles’ from Texas-based Whataburger in January 2014. He succeeded CEO James “Randy” Kibler, who led Bojangles’ Restaurants Inc., the company’s subsidiary, from September 2007 to January 2014. Kibler moved into the interim role.
Bojangles’ $593 million deal was announced in October. The acquisition takes Bojangles’ private and it will remain based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We are pleased to have successfully completed this transaction in partnership with Bojangles’ and The Jordan Company,” added Eric Sobotka, managing partner at Durational Capital Management, in a statement. “We are excited to begin working with the Bojangles’ team, employees and franchisees to execute a long-term growth strategy that will fully realize the strong potential of the iconic Bojangles’ brand.”
Bojangles’ stockholders are receiving $16.10 per share in cash. The chain’s common stock ceased trading as of Monday on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and was delisted.
“We believe the completion of this acquisition represents an exciting next chapter for Bojangles’. As a private company, and with our and Durational’s support, Bojangles’ will be able to further strengthen its operations while expanding its brand and market presence,” said Ian Arons, Partner at The Jordan Company.
As of December 30, there were 759 restaurants—319 company-operated and 440 franchised. At the time of the deal, there were 766 total units.
Bojangles’ previously said it would close underperforming units and refranchise others to strengthen corporate dynamics as part of a “restaurant portfolio optimization program.”
Bojangles’ last public report—Q3 of fiscal 2018—showed systemwide same-store sales increases of 0.4 percent. Company-run stores lifted 0.1 percent and franchised units upped 0.7 percent. Total revenues rose to $138.7 million from $136 million in the prior-year period. Bojangles’ also took a net loss of $2.7 million (reflecting after-tax charges of $9.8 million related to our restaurant portfolio optimization program).
The chain closed 10 underperforming locations in Q3, it said. Bojangles’ also opened one corporate unit and four franchises.