Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. announced the sale and refranchising of 45 Outback Steakhouses in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico to Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts, Inc. and its affiliates, along with eight Outback restaurants and one Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Montana, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming to Evergreen Restaurant Group LLC. The transactions closed on April 25 and April 27 respectively.
“Both Cerca Trova and Evergreen are excellent operators and have been successful Outback franchisees for more than 20 years,” says Suk Singh, global chief development officer & franchising. “We’re confident that with their expertise, knowledge of our brands, and dedication to providing an outstanding Outback experience, this will be a seamless transition for our guests.”
Cerca Trova, formerly known as T-Bird Restaurant Group, has operated Outback restaurants in California since 1994 and is a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity and alternative assets firm. H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach. Cerca Trova is the largest franchisee for Bloomin’ Brands.
“This partnership will provide additional energy and resources to Cerca Trova as we expand,” says Steve Weigel, president and CEO, of Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts. “Working with the entire team at Outback is an honor and a privilege and this partnership will allow the brand to continue to prosper.”
Evergreen Restaurant Group has been a franchisee for 21 years and operates Outback, Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill restaurants across the northwest.
“Operating three of the finest casual dining brands in the country is very rewarding,” says Jeff Jones, pesident and CEO of Evergreen Restaurant Group. “We are very pleased to add the additional Outback restaurants to our portfolio and commence operating Carrabba’s Italian Grill as well.”
With the two transactions, Cerca Trova now operates all Outback restaurants across five states and Evergreen, multiple restaurant brands across seven states.