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Church’s Chicken reportedly exploring sale

Private equity firm FFL Partners has owned brand since 2009

FFL Partners, owner of the Church’s Chicken brand, is reportedly in talks to sell the Atlanta-based quick-service chain.

The San Francisco-based private equity firm has hired advisers to explore the possible sale or other options with an asking price of $350 million or more, unidentified sources told Bloomberg.

FFL Partners originally bought the 1,500-unit Southern chicken chain in 2009 from Bahrain investment firm Arcapita Bank, in a deal with an estimated value of $390 million, according to the Financial Times.

Representatives for Church’s Chicken declined to address the rumors, stating: “Church's Chicken does not comment on speculation and rumors.” FFL Partners did not respond to questions by press time.

Rumors of a sale surfaced just three months after Church’s Chicken announced a brand refresh in March spearheaded by CEO Joe Christina, who was hired in 2016. The multi-year brand revamp is intended to bring the brand “down-home” to its native Texas roots, and includes a facelift to U.S. restaurants, new logo and new limited-time summer menu items.

The company said the brand refresh would be more noticeable overseas — where the restaurant chain is known as Texas Chicken — with updates to restaurant signage, layout and menu items.

“I think when you’re a 67-year-old brand, you have to think about updating periodically,” Christina said at the time.

Church’s Chicken has locations in 29 U.S. states and more than 20 countries.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @joannafantozzi

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