Charlesbank Capital Partners and Grotech Capital Group bought Captain D’s for $150 million—nearly half of the purchase price will be financed.
“Captain D’s has grown consistently and profitably over the past several years, and its strong leadership is well equipped to support continued growth in both the existing business and new company-operated and franchise locations,” says Andrew Janower, managing director of Charlesbank. “We see tremendous potential for the company, which offers a solid, well-known brand in an expanding industry, and we look forward to working with management and our partners at Grotech to build on Captain D’s impressive success to date.”
The firms plan to expand the chain into Asia and Western Europe, says Frank Adams, Grotech’s managing general partner and founder. “…[the type of fish offered at] Captain D’s is eagerly sought after in the Far East where fish is a high component of the diet,” says Adams. In addition to international expansion, the companies are looking at purchasing more restaurant chains, in hopes of co-branding the restaurant in many locations.
As former owner of Long John Silver’s, Grotech urged the Captain D’s competitor to sign international franchise deals and merge with A&W at some locations. “We have a tradition and history of putting brands together and cross marketing them,” explains Adams. “We are particularly excited about Grotech’s latest restaurant chain acquisition of Captain D’s because it continues a successful trend we’ve had of investing in strong management teams, leading brands and growing market positions.”
Maura Turner, spokesperson for Charlesbank says the two investment firms initially became interested in Captain D’s while researching Church’s Chicken. In the end, the companies lost the Church’s bid.
Founded in 1969, Captain D’s has 577 total units; 317 are company operated, 260 are franchised locations. Captain D’s had system-wide revenue sales of $515 as of September 26, 2004.