Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments in market-leading companies, announced that an affiliate has signed an agreement to sell its investment in Captain D’s Seafood Restaurant, a seafood quick service restaurant, to Centre Partners, a middle market private equity firm. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Captain D’s owns, operates, and franchises 527 restaurants in 25 states and on military bases internationally. Captain D's restaurants serve a wide variety of fish and seafood, including the brand’s signature hand-battered fish fillets, which are prepared to order.

Prior to acquisition, Captain D’s had suffered several years of declining comparable store sales. Upon acquisition by an affiliate of Sun Capital, the management team was strengthened and improvements to business operations were executed, including the implementation of new financial controls, a procurement process, and better labor management. The company was also able to transform the customer experience through a new restaurant design, revamping the menu with new items, improving food quality, and increasing the value customers receive for their meal. This resulted in 27 consecutive periods of system-wide comparable sales growth. Building on Captain D’s successful turnaround, the restaurant has recently begun expanding its franchise locations.

“We are extremely proud of the transformation and revitalization of Captain D’s,” says Marc Leder, co-CEO at Sun Capital.  “We’re confident that the combination of operational improvements and customer-focused solutions that have been achieved over the past three years will enable the business to continue to build on its strong market position.”

Sun Capital has experience in the restaurant sector through current affiliated portfolio companies Boston Market, a fast casual restaurant serving home style meals in more than 460 nationwide locations; Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill, a full-service bar and fire-grill restaurant that operates 65 locations in 17 states; Bar Louie Restaurants, a neighborhood bar and eatery with more than 70 locations across the U.S.; and Fazoli’s, the Italian quick-service restaurant ranked second overall among large national fast-food chains in the prestigious Zagat Survey.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, Legal, News, Captain D's