TriArtisan Capital Advisors LLC has emerged as the prime candidate to acquire P.F. Chang’s China Bistro for as much as $700 million from private-equity firm Centerbridge Partners L.P., according to recent reports.
TriArtisan is in “exclusive talks” to buy the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based casual-dining brand and is talking with lenders about funding a potential deal, Bloomberg reported Monday.
Messages left with Centerbridge and TriArtisan and emails to P.F. Chang’s were not returned by press time.
No final decisions had been made and talks could fall through, said an expert aware of the discussions. But sources said they believed funding was in place.
In early July, Centerbridge and the board of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Wok Parent LLC said it had retained Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch and Barclays PLC to oversee a possible sale of the 220-unit P.F. Chang’s.
The move came six years after Centerbridge took P.F. Chang’s and sibling Pei Wei Asian Kitchen private in a $1.1 billion deal in 2012. Pei Wei was spun off in 2017, and the 200-unit fast-casual brand moved its headquarters to Irving, Texas.
TriArtisan Capital Advisors is a successor to TriArtisan Capital Partners, which was part of an investor group, with Sentinel Capital Partners, that acquired the casual-dining TGI Fridays brand in 2014.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro booked an estimated $912.9 million in U.S. systemwide sales in the fiscal year ended December 2017, up from $906.2 million in the preceding year, according to the most recent NRN Top 200 report.
“Given the positive performance of P.F. Chang's Bistro and having received multiple unsolicited indications of interest, this is an exciting time to explore a sale,” Steve Silver, global co-head of private equity at New York City-based Centerbridge, said in a July statement.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro was founded in 1993 by chef Philip Chiang and restaurateur Paul Fleming.
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