Interfoods of America Inc., the Miami-based Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits franchisee, announced Monday, January 24, 2000 that it has completed its acquisition of 37 Popeyes restaurants in Mississippi and Louisiana from Ellis Enterprises of Jackson, Miss. for $34 million.

The acquisition included 33 fee simple properties and 4 leased locations. The company, with the recent acquisition, has 91 Popeyes restaurant locations operating in six markets and has annualized sales of approximately $80 million. This acquisition makes Interfoods of America Inc. the largest Popeyes Chicken & Biscuit franchisee in the United States and the only one that is publicly owned.

“We are extremely pleased in the acquiring of the stores in these new markets and their future potentials. We are achieving comparable sales increases in every market we operate in,” stated Robert S. Berg, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our markets are achieving year-to-date comparable store sales increases of anywhere from 2.9% to 24.9% which is generally considered the most important measure of a restaurant’s financial performance. We attribute this to improved operations in markets after they have been acquired and to the updated re-imaged appearance of our stores.”

Popeyes president Jon Luther said that “We are always excited when one of our existing franchise partners makes the decision to grow their business with Popeyes and we are pleased that Interfoods has acquired these 37 Popeyes locations. The Interfoods team has done an outstanding job of growing the Popeyes brand in the markets where they do business through first-class operations and facility re-investment. They are one of our top franchise partners and we look forward to working with them as they continue to grow their business in the future.”

“This transaction represents our 4th acquisition financing with Interfoods in the past 18 months. Interfoods consistently comes to the closing table with smart, accretive acquisitions. We are proud to be a part of their success,” commented John Shrewsberry, managing director, American Commercial Capital.

Brian Roach, managing director, American Commercial Capital added: “We enjoy working with Bob Berg, Steve Wemple and their team because they are such great operators. They deliver on their promises whether it be increasing sales, improving operations or creating a better customer experience.”

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits offers unique Cajun, or New Orleans, style chicken along with side dishes that include red beans and rice, shrimp and crawfish, as well as mashed potatoes and gravy. The brand has a presence in 41 states and 23 countries worldwide.

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