AFC Enterprises announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Church’s Chicken brand to Crescent Capital Investments, Inc. The deal is for $390 million, comprised of $383 million in cash and a subordinated note from an affiliate of the buyer for $7 million.

Crescent Capital Investments is an Atlanta-based private equity firm with several portfolio companies in the retail and consumer products industries, including Caribou Coffee Company and Loehmann’s Holdings Inc. The pending transaction is expected to close by year-end 2004. Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. served as the financial advisor to AFC Enterprises in this transaction.

Frank Belatti, chairman and CEO of AFC Enterprises, said in a statement: “The announcement today illustrates our determination to maximize the value of AFC’s portfolio. Our Board will consider the possibilities for the use of the proceeds including the repayment of all or a portion of our long-term debt as well as other means to return value to our shareholders. We commend the Church’s team for all their efforts in improving the brand’s recent performance.”

AFC expects net proceeds from the sale of Church’s, after tax considerations, to be approximately $275 million. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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