Real Mex Restaurants Inc., which for decades has operated one of the largest collections of full-service Mexican food restaurants in the U.S., has rebranded under new owner FM Restaurants HoldCo.
The affiliate of private-equity firm Z Capital Partners LLC has completed its acquisition of assets of the Cypress, Calif.-based company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early August.
At the time, Real Mex stakeholder Z Capital Group said it would take full ownership of the 78-unit Mexican restaurant company through an asset sale. FM Restaurants completed the sale and has changed the company’s name to Xperience XRG Restaurant Group.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, including how many total units FM Restaurants bought in the asset sale.
The refreshed company will be led by CEO Randy Sharpe and CFO Ned Algeo, both former Real Mex executives. Cypress, Calif.-based Xperience XRG will run the Acapulco, Chevys, El Torito, El Torito Grill, Las Brisas, Pink Taco, Who Song and Larry’s and Sinigual brands.
As of Tuesday, the former Real Mex website has been rebranded as Xperience.
Rahul Sawhney, senior managing director of Z Capital, said the new name reflects the “highest standards of everything that goes into the guest experience including high-quality food and drinks, an inviting ambience and tremendous service."
Z Capital became Real Mex’s largest shareholder in 2013. At that time, Real Mex operated 121 restaurants. Over the last few years, Real Mex has focused on modernizing some of its core brands and closing underperforming units.
James Zenni, CEO of Z Capital, said Xperience will “pursue organic growth opportunities to expand” the footprint of the company while also pursuing “strategic acquisitions to drive value for our stakeholders."
In a statement, Sharpe, previously the senior vice president of operations at Romano's Macaroni Grill, said each brand is strong and has loyal customers.
“As the restaurant industry evolves, we are confident that Xperience XRG is well-positioned to capitalize on its hospitality-focused culture and continue providing guests with an unparalleled dining experience and innovative menu offerings,” he said.
Sharpe was named CEO of FM Restaurants in early October. Before working at Romano's Macaroni Grill, he served as vice president of operations for Real Mex; Algeo served as interim chief financial officer of Real Mex from 2016 through June 2017.
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