Tacala LLC is pleased to announce the acquisition of 34 Taco Bell locations in the St. Louis DMA and two in the Knoxville DMA from Taco Bell Corp. on Wednesday, March 21. This transaction comes four weeks after the purchase of 27 St. Louis Taco Bell locations from GenXMex Foods, Inc. giving Tacala significant presence in the St. Louis market.
These two transactions are Tacala’s first foray outside of the Southeast, and St. Louis has quickly become Tacala’s biggest market with ownership of 61 Taco Bell locations.
Tacala, the largest franchise operator of Taco Bell restaurants in the nation, now owns and operates 224 Taco Bell restaurants in eight states.
“We are excited about the new business opportunity and the talented people that are now a part of the Tacala family,” says Tim Morrison, president of Tacala LLC. Morrison was promoted to president of Tacala LLC from chief operations officer in January 2012 in anticipation of this substantial company growth.
Morrison has been a member of Tacala’s executive team since joining the company in September 2008. Before joining Tacala, Morrison served in a number of operations leadership positions for Taco Bell Corp during his 23-year tenure. He reports to Don Ghareeb, chief executive officer of Tacala.
“Tim is the right leader for our company as we continue to grow,” Ghareeb says. “His knowledge of the business, focus on excellence, and ability to attract and motivate talented employees is vital to our success.”
Both acquisitions were financed by a syndicate of banks led by Wells Fargo Bank as administrative agent and sole lead arranger, Regions Bank as syndication agent, Bank of America as documentation agent, and participants First Tennessee Bank, RBS Citizens, Cadence Bank, Iberia Bank, BBVA Compass, and ServisFirst.
“A transaction of this magnitude cannot occur without a strong team effort between all members of our internal team, our lending partners, and key personnel at both Taco Bell and Yum Brands,” said Joey Pierson, Tacala LLC CFO.
Tacala LLC is the largest franchise operator of Taco Bell restaurants in the nation with 224 restaurants in eight states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.