Britt Private Capital, LLC, the recently established Newport Beach, California-based private investment firm of longtime private equity investor Chris L. Britt, announced the acquisition of its second fast casual franchise brand in the past 12 months. In February, Britt Private Capital sponsored and finalized the purchase of Juice It Up!, one of the nation’s leading handcrafted smoothie, raw juice, and superfruit bowl franchises, partnering in the transaction with Edmond St. Geme-led Jupiter Holdings, LLC and Chris Braun, who was appointed CEO of the company. The purchase of Juice It Up! comes hot on the heels of Britt Private Capital and Jupiter Holdings’ April 2017 acquisition of Northern California-based Mountain Mike’s Pizza, a family and community focused franchised pizza system with more than 190 locations mostly in California, and among the 20th largest pizza systems in the United States.
Chris L. Britt established Britt Private Capital in early 2017 after nearly 25 years of investing as one of two managing partners for Southern California-based middle market buyout firm Marwit Capital, where he has worked alongside co-Managing partner Matthew Witte and Partner David Browne. One key theme of Britt Private Capital is to invest in growth-oriented businesses as a longer-term investor, in most cases for periods of time that extend beyond traditional timelines typically associated with private equity ownership. Franchised systems are one area of focus, and the purchase of Mountain Mike’s Pizza and Juice It Up! represent the first two transactions, and an impressive unveiling, for the new firm.
“I am thrilled to add Juice It Up! and Mountain Mike’s Pizza as a solid foundation for our portfolio of franchised system brands,” says Chris L. Britt, founder and Principal of Britt Private Capital. “Both brands are true leaders in their categories and I’m looking forward to helping them reach their full potential.”
While co-managing Marwit Capital, the firm completed more than 50 lower middle market buyout transactions and growth investments, including acquiring and building such industry trailblazers as Boot Barn, Solis Mammography, Driftwood Dairy, Signature Theaters, Western Emulsions, Paciolan, and Fire Grill, LLC. Notably, Fire Grill, LLC, was also a partnership between Britt and St. Geme, where from 2004 to 2014 they owned 43 Burger King restaurants. As one of the largest franchise group in the Burger King system, they gained invaluable franchise experience which has since been applied to these initial brand acquisitions.
Britt continues, “We are patient investors with long-term views, and we seek partners who add value to the companies we invest in and are also enjoyable to work with. Britt Private Capital is more akin to an active family office investment model, rather than a traditional private equity firm. Although I am keeping my eyes open for the next opportunity to add strong businesses to our roster, I am personally committed to playing an instrumental role in the growth of our existing brands.”
Currently, Britt serves as Co-CEO of Mountain Mike’s Pizza, which is having its biggest year ever with 20-25 new franchised locations scheduled to open by the end of 2018; including several in Southern California, a growth area for the brand. Britt is also an active Chairman and lead investor for Juice It Up! which has over 100 locations open or under development across California, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, and Texas.