With the completion of an acquisition by an affiliate of Z Capital on Tuesday, Real Mex Restaurants is changing the brand’s identity. The restaurant group will now be known as Xperience XRG Restaurant group.
FM Restaurants (FM Restaurants HoldCo, LLC), an affiliate of Z Capital (Z Capital Group, LLC) announced through a court-supervised auction it completed the acquisition of certain assets of Real Mex Restaurants.
"We are excited to combine the best of well-established concepts with substantial industry talent throughout the Company to position it for continued growth and success," Rahul Sawhney, senior managing director of Z Capital, said in a statement. "The rebranding of the Company to Xperience XRG speaks to an unfettered focus on the highest standards of everything that goes into the guest experience including high-quality food and drinks, an inviting ambiance and tremendous service."
Leading Xperience XRG is newly appointed chief executive officer Randy Sharpe and chief financial officer Ned Algeo. The new restaurant group’s portfolio is comprised of both fine dining and casual brands, including El Torito, La Brisas, Pink Taco, Acapulco, and Sinigual.
"We are pleased to complete this acquisition and announce our new brand identity as we focus on our strategic growth priorities driven by best-in-class operational and organizational efficiencies," Randy Sharpe, Xperience XRG's chief executive officer, said in a statement. "These are strong brands with loyal customers, supporting thousands of jobs in the communities we serve. 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."
Back in August, Real Mex filed for bankruptcy while announcing plans to sell the company to one of its largest shareholders, Z Capital, in a deal valued at $46.8 million. Despite rising same-store sales at Chevys Fresh Mex and El Torito, the company fell short on more than $230 million to two groups of lenders last spring. Additionally, Real Mex owed about $6.5 million to vendors and had another loan of about $54 million owed to a to a lender group that included Z Capital affiliates.
The company first saw trouble in 2011 when it first filed for debt protection. At the time, it had around 128 restaurants when it sold to affiliates of Tennebaum Capital Partners and Z Capital in March 2012.
Since 2012, the brand has continued to weed out under performing locations bringing the number of locations to 68. Under the new Xperience XRG leadership, the group is looking to expand and capitalize on new locations in the future.
"Randy and Ned have a deep understanding of consumer trends and have had a great deal of success cultivating premier restaurant brands, and we are excited to partner with them," James Zenni, Z Capital's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We look forward to this next chapter with Xperience XRG as we pursue organic growth opportunities to expand our national footprint and simultaneously enhance the portfolio through strategic acquisitions to drive value for our stakeholders.