J.H. Whitney Capital Partners announced January 8 it completed a transaction to acquire the majority interest in Charlotte-based Firebirds International, LLC. Financial details and terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the company said in a statement.
"Firebirds is a unique brand that has a distinguished and proven track record of profitability and growth and is run by a management team that is one of the most dynamic in the industry," said Paul R. Vigano, J.H. Whitney senior managing director, about the acquisition in a statement. "We are excited to partner with Mark and the company's talented management team to help accelerate the Company's growth."
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill was named one of America’s Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains by FSR in 2018. Since opening in 2000, the company has grown to 48 units across multiple markets. The company ended last year with $161 million in total company sales with each unit averaging $3.8 million. Take a look at how Firebrids achieves the "unchained chain" feel with a local-store marketing approach. Firebirds also launched a new design protoype in October 2017.
Under new ownership, Firebirds chief executive officer Mark Eason will continue in his current role with the brand, the company said in a statement.
"Firebirds' guest-first culture and various industry recognitions are reflective of our continuous investment in our team members and customers. J.H. Whitney's willingness to invest in the long-term success of our brand and their alignment with our core values make them the ideal partner to help us execute our growth strategy," said Eason. "We are very pleased to have J.H. Whitney's experience, resources and team of professionals supporting Firebirds."
According to a statement from the company, “California-based NorthPoint Advisors served as financial advisor to Firebirds and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to J.H. Whitney.”