UNO Restaurants, LLC, the owner, operator and franchisor of the UNO Pizzeria & Grill brand, announced the sale of eight company-owned restaurants to MVPizza, LLC as part of a broader re-franchising initiative. The eight restaurants are located in the Maryland and Virginia markets and are the first markets to be sold in connection with UNO’s re-franchising initiative. MVPizza, LLC retained all of the management, hourly and field employees offering them a unique growth opportunity under franchise ownership. MVPizza, LLC is an affiliate of the Bastian Restaurant Group, owned by Mr. Amir Yazdi, a successful, California-based operator and franchisee of multi-unit restaurant brands. The Cypress Group is serving as the exclusive advisor to UNO in the refranchising of company-owned restaurants.
Amir Yazdi, president & Chief Executive Officer of MVPizza, LLC and the Bastian Group, says, “I am excited to be part of an iconic brand with such a rich and authentic history as UNO. I am also honored to have such a dedicated team of people who will ensure a smooth transition of the business and to be able to offer them additional opportunities to grow in their careers at UNOs.”
Louie Psallidas, President & Chief Executive Officer of UNO, stated, “I am pleased to welcome Amir Yazdi and the Bastian Group to the UNO family. I look forward to a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship with Amir and his team and to supporting him in the growth of the UNO brand in his markets.”
Psallidas went on to say, “The re-franchising initiative was intended to facilitate the growth of the UNO brand through its new prototype dubbed UNO Next. The UNO Next design, created in partnership with Synergy Restaurant Consultants, brings forward the rich and authentic history of the UNO brand and combines it with a new contemporary design featuring an open display kitchen, a large bar and community tables designed for groups and socializing, a dedicated area for take-out and a significant technology component. We intend to open a company-owned UNO featuring the UNO Next design in 2019.”
This is the first of two re-franchising transactions entered into by UNO. The second transaction is with a franchise group that operates over 160 restaurants across two brands in 14 states. The second transaction is slated to close in November for the sale of restaurants in certain Northeast markets.
Upon the closing of the second re-franchising transaction, UNO will have 38 company- owned and 54 domestic and 8 international franchised restaurants. The company-owned restaurants are primarily based in New England, Florida and Chicago.
The Cypress Group is serving as the exclusive advisor to UNO in the re-franchising of Company-owned restaurants. Cypress provided valuation services, identified potential acquirers, structured the deal terms and advised UNO throughout the transaction process.