Orangewood Partners, a long-term focused private investment firm, today announced the successful exit of its Kentucky-based Taco Bell franchisee, ABTB. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in January 2018, ABTB was formed as a partnership between Orangewood and Southpaw, a leading owner and operator of quick-service restaurants. Under Orangewood’s ownership, ABTB executed a successful strategy of owning and operating Taco Bell franchisees in the Greater Louisville, Kentucky market, acquiring 24 Taco Bell Stores in February 2018 and an additional eight in April 2019 and completing an additional seven ground up developments. Following the transaction, Judd and Erica Wishnow, Co-Founders of Southpaw, will join Orangewood as Operating Partners.
Orangewood had a very active 2022, which included the exit of three portfolio companies: ABTB, George Industries and its cell tower platform investment.
Over the course of the year, Orangewood also made a strategic investment in Barrington James, a leading global recruitment firm that primarily serves the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device sectors, and Win Brands Group, an omnichannel retail platform that buys and builds category-defining brands.
“ABTB exemplifies Orangewood’s approach to create long-term value for investors, companies, and communities. When we formed ABTB with Judd and Erica, one of our primary objectives was to expand our presence within Louisville through the acquisition of strategic Taco Bell Stores in the area,” says Alan Goldfarb, Managing Partner of Orangewood. “While we executed our strategy and delivered strong growth, both organically and through acquisitions, we are even more pleased with the company’s impact on the community it served. As an example, through a partnership with a local Boys & Girls Club, we were able to offer and distribute warm meals to children who had difficulty having warm meals due to school closures at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“We are proud of what we accomplished at ABTB in partnership with the Orangewood team,” says Judd Wishnow. “Orangewood’s approach to brand building, working closely with founders and management, and broad expertise in growing consumer businesses, was absolutely critical to ABTB’s success. Erica and I look forward to joining Orangewood as Operating Partners, where we can continue to help drive value for the firm’s portfolio companies.”
Mr. Goldfarb adds, “I am thrilled to continue to strengthen our deep working relationship with Judd and Erica as Operating Partners of Orangewood. We will benefit immensely from their strategic consumer insights, proven operational expertise and deep industry relationships, and look forward to continuing our partnership going forward.”