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Restaurant lenders dole out more than $60M

NEW YORK While small business lending, or the lack thereof, remains a hot topic in Washington and beyond, two national restaurant lenders have detailed deals totaling millions of dollars for McDonald’s and Wendy’s franchisees, as well as the Mellow Mushroom franchisor.

Last week, GE Capital Franchise Finance closed a $9.35 million deal with Legacy Restaurants Group LLC, a Wendy’s franchise with 12 restaurants in Kansas and Missouri. The loan helps Legacy to acquire five additional units from another Wendy’s franchisee in Joplin, Mo., and to refinance its existing debt.

Last month, GE Capital closed on a $25 million credit facility to Mellow Mushroom franchisor Home-Grown Industries of Georgia Inc. The Atlanta-based franchisor to more than 100 Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurants received a five-year senior term loan of $21 million and a $4 million revolving credit facility. The funds will be used to complete a partner buyout, refinance the company’s existing senior debt, as well as provide additional funds for new unit growth, the companies said.

On Tuesday, Wells Fargo Restaurant Finance said its customized partnership with McDonald’s franchisees, which it debuted in April at the height of the credit freeze, has closed more than $30 million in loans. The program covered fixed and floating rate loans and was engineered to help McDonald’s operators get financing for restaurant acquisitions, rebuilds and relocations, equipment purchases, and restaurant improvements.

Contact Sarah E. Lockyer at [email protected].

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