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GE Capital’s Franchise Finance business served as administrative agent on a $45-million, senior-secured credit facility to the Saxton Group, the largest McAlister’s Deli franchisee. GE Capital Markets served as sole lead arranger and sole bookrunner.
The Dallas-based company, which was founded in 1982, has grown its McAlister’s business from one store in 1999 to 61 locations today spread across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. The company used the funds to refinance existing debt, redeem outstanding, privately held shares, and buy out minority shareholders; the remaining capital will be used for growth.
McAlister’s is a fast-casual restaurant chain known for a menu of American regional favorites featuring sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, desserts, and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea. In total, the McAlister’s system, which is approximately 85 percent franchised, is comprised of 338 restaurants in 24 states.
“We plan to actively expand the McAlister's Deli brand so it’s important to us to have a lender that understands the restaurant industry and has the ability to help us grow at a rapid pace so we can continue to provide value to our guests, our people, and our shareholders,” says Kelly Saxton, CEO and chairman.
“The Saxton Group’s focus on operational excellence and the customer has delivered strong financial performance up to this point,” says Bill Kraus, a senior managing director with GE Capital, Franchise Finance. ”We recognize the company’s dynamic growth potential and look forward to being a part of their success story going forward.”