Baar-Zug, Switzerland, 6 October 2015
Partners Group acquires major US Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings franchisees
Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has acquired a majority stake in restaurant businesses Pacific Bells and World Wide Wings (together, the 'Companies') on behalf of its clients. The Companies are leading franchisees of the Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings brands and operate 139 restaurants across five US states. The Companies have shared infrastructure and the founders and management team have retained a significant stake following the transaction, which closed on 2 October 2015.
Pacific Bells was founded in 1989 with the opening of a single Taco Bell outlet in Oregon and has since grown across Oregon, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin through new store openings and franchise acquisitions. Today, it is the fourth largest Taco Bell franchisee in the country with 110 restaurants. World Wide Wings was founded in 2007 and is the fifth largest Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee in the US with 29 restaurants in California, Oregon and Washington.
Partners Group will work with the Companies' management team, led by Tom Cook, Founder and CEO, Eric Simko, President of Pacific Bells, and Wray Hutchinson, President of World Wide Wings, to carry out an ambitious growth plan for the Companies. This plan encompasses further store openings within existing markets, additional franchise acquisitions, and facility improvements at existing outlets.
Tom Cook, Founder and CEO of the Companies, comments: "Over the last 26 years, we've assembled a highly capable and dedicated team which strives to deliver an exceptional guest experience day in and day out. Partners Group has a strong appreciation of what it takes to be a best-in-class operator and to deliver a world-class customer experience. We look forward to this partnership and to continued growth with Partners Group."
David Layton, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity Americas at Partners Group, comments: "With our investment in Pacific Bells and World Wide Wings, we are backing two incredibly strong brands with broad appeal and an especially loyal following among the millennial generation. Tom, Wray, and Eric have established a top-notch reputation in the franchise community as leaders who have made significant investments in their people and their infrastructure for the benefit of their customers. We are 100% committed to upholding these values and are excited to partner with this team to accelerate the growth trajectory of these two companies."
Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, Burr & Forman LLP, and KPMG LLP advised Partners Group on the transaction.