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Nord Bay, TriArtisan acquire Hooters

Selling investors retain stake in breastaurant brand

The investment group behind Hooters of America LLC has sold the casual-dining wings brand to Nord Bay Capital and TriArtisan Capital Advisors LLC, the companies said late Monday.

The sellers included H.I.G. Capital, Chanticleer Holdings and other investors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The companies said that “as part of the transaction, the selling entities will each retain a stake” in the Atlanta-based brand, which was a pioneer in the casting of attractive waitstaff that it calls “Hooters Girls.”

Hooters of America, founded in 1983, owns and franchises more than 430 Hooters restaurants in 38 states and 27 countries.

“The partnership with Nord Bay and TriArtisan comes at an ideal time for the company, bringing fresh partners with complementary skills and experience to support our next phase of growth to the benefit of all our employees, franchisees and customers,” said Terry Marks, Hooters CEO, in a statement.

Hooters in February 2017 opened a fast-casual spinoff of its casual-dining restaurant, called Hoots, in Cicero, Ill., without the signature “breastaurant” wait staff.

“We are pleased with the early results of our new fast casual concept and plan additional openings later this year,” Marks said.

William Pepper, principal at Tampa Bay, Fla.-based Nord Bay Capital, said Hooters is a global brand with strong finances.

“With nine consecutive quarters of same store sales growth and 13 consecutive quarters outperforming the casual dining bar and grill category, we see Hooters as a real jewel in the restaurant category,” Pepper said. “We’re excited to work with Terry, his senior leadership team, along with the Hooters global franchise community and employees to drive continued success in the years to come.”

Rohit Manocha, founding partner at New York-based TriArtisan, called Hooters “a true innovator in the chicken wing space for over 35 years.”

TriArtisan partnered with Paulson & Co. Inc. in March to acquire Scottsdale, Ariz.-based P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc., the casual-dining Asian-food brand, from Centerbridge Partners L.P.

TriArtisan has held a stake in TGI Friday’s since July 2014.

Piper Jaffray served as financial adviser to Hooters of America.

Contact RonRuggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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