Sun Capital Partner Inc., a leading private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments in market-leading companies, announced that an affiliate has completed the sale of its investment in Fazoli’s Group Inc., a premium quick-service Italian restaurant with 124 company-owned and 89 independent franchised locations in 26 states, to Sentinel Capital Partners. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Fazoli’s is the only major, freestanding Italian quick-service restaurant chain focused on a variety of traditional and innovative Italian food offerings, including its signature freshly baked breadsticks, fresh-made pastas, Submarinos, pizza, salads, and desserts.
Following the acquisition of Fazoli’s by a Sun Capital affiliate in 2006, significant operational initiatives were implemented that resulted in same store sales growth and improved profitability. These initiatives included management team enhancements, the revitalization of the Company’s menu through an improvement in food quality and variety, investments in internal and external facility and décor updates, the introduction of enhanced guest experience and service programs, a refining of marketing tactics, and the implementation of cost-saving initiatives that streamlined operations.
“Fazoli’s’ strong performance is a testament to the combined impact Sun Capital’s deep restaurant expertise and a world-class management team can have in transforming potential into sustained results,” says Marc Leder, co-CEO at Sun Capital. “We firmly believe Fazoli’s is well positioned to achieve continued success under its new owner.”
“This transaction marks the culmination of our successful partnership with the Company’s management team that revitalized Fazoli’s award-winning brand,” says M. Steven Liff, senior managing director at Sun Capital. “The largest menu upgrade in the company’s history combined with a renewed focus on providing its customers with an enhanced dining experience has positioned Fazoli’s as a strong player in the premium quick-service/fast-casual segment, with plenty of opportunity for future growth.”
Sun Capital has strong expertise in the restaurant sector through its investments in current and former affiliated portfolio companies, including Bar Louie Restaurants, a neighborhood bar and eatery with more than 70 locations across the U.S.; Boston Market, a fast casual restaurant serving quality, home-style meals at a convenient value in more than 460 nationwide locations; and Captain D’s, a leading seafood quick-service restaurant.
Duff & Phelps served as the exclusive financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis served as the exclusive legal counsel to Fazoli’s.