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Outback Steakhouse franchisee acquired by private-equity group

Outback Steakhouse franchisee acquired by private-equity group

T-Bird Restaurant Group Inc. holds exclusive rights in California

T-Bird Restaurant Group Inc., the exclusive franchisee of the Outback Steakhouse chain in California, has been acquired by private-equity firm H.I.G. Capital LLC, the company said Wednesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. La Jolla, Calif.-based T-Bird operates 63 Outback units across the state.

“T-Bird is proud to have successfully represented the Outback brand for more than 20 years in California. The company is well positioned to extend its track record of growth and success, especially given the resources and motivation of H.I.G. Capital,” Thomas Shannon, T-Bird founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Within the food and beverage category, H.I.G.'s investments generally fall into the packaged food realm, including sausage maker Southern Quality Meats, fresh produce packager Ready Pac Produce, and poultry processor Albertville Quality Foods, according to the firm’s website.

The firm has invested in casual-dining operator Compania del Tropico in Spain and correctional facility commissary operator Trinity Services Group Inc. in the U.S.

Elliot Maluth, managing director of H.I.G., said the firm plans to accelerate growth of the Outback brand in California.

“The management team at T-Bird is well recognized as the best in the business,” he said in a statement. “Aided by the world-class support of the franchisor, Bloomin’ Brands, we are confident in T-Bird’s ability to both drive growth and sustain industry-leading profitability.”

At the close of the second quarter ended June 28, Bloomin’ Brands Inc. operated 649 Outback restaurants and franchised another 105 units in the U.S., for a total of 754 Outback locations. The Tampa, Fla.-based franchisor also operates and franchises the Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar brands.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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