Hooters of America, LLC has been sold to Nord Bay Capital and its adviser, TriArtisan Capital Advisors, the companies announced July 1. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. H.I.G Capital, Chanticleer Holdings, and other investors dealt the chain and, as part of the transaction, selling entities will each retain a stake in Hooters.
“The partnership with Nord Bay and TriArtisan comes at an ideal time for the company, bringing fresh partners with complementary skills and experience to support our next phase of growth to the benefit of all our employees, franchisees and customers,” said Terry Marks, Hooters of America CEO, in a statement.
Hooters, which has more than 430 units in 38 states and 27 countries, has opened 30 corporate locations and 35 franchises in the past three years. Rumors of the brand’s sale have swirled since last summer. PE Hub reported then that the company was seeking a buyer with Piper Jaffray as adviser. Piper Jaffray did serve as financial adviser to Hooters in Monday’s announced deal, the company said.
Backed by private-equity firms, Chanticleer purchased Hooters in 2011, which brought an end to legal issues following the death of the chain’s owner, Robert Brooks, in 2006. Hooters was also put up for sale four years ago before being pulled back.
Marks added Monday that Hooters “core business is strong with a world-famous and differentiated brand, a first-rate management team and a loyal base of experienced franchisees.”
Additionally, Marks noted that Hooters was pleased with early results of its new fast casual, Hoots, and was planning additional openings later this year.
Hooters introduced the counter-service model in 2017. Beyond meeting a rising demand for convenience, employees also wear more traditional uniforms.
Hooters was founded in 1983 in Clearwater, Florida. William Pepper, a principal with Nord Bay Capital, said Hooters has posted nine consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth and 13 straight periods outperforming the casual dining bar and grill category.
“Hooters is an iconic global brand that has shown strong financial growth and development,” he said in a statement. “… we see Hooters as a real jewel in the restaurant category.”
Added Rohit Manocha, a TriArtisan founding partner, “As a true innovator in the chicken wing space for over 35 years, Hooters is highly differentiated in a category that is more popular than ever. “