GE Capital’s Franchise Finance (GEFF) business announced it has provided $35 million in two separate term loans to Romulus, Inc., one of the largest IHOP franchisees.
The funds will be used to refinance existing debt, provide a dividend recapitalization, and finance the acquisition of 16 IHOP units in Ohio and Indiana.
Romulus opened its first IHOP in Phoenix in 1991. With the new units, Romulus owns 75 units across nine states today.
Its founder, Chris Milisci, has more than 20 years of restaurant experience with IHOP Corp. and as an IHOP franchisee. He’s widely recognized as one of the leaders within the IHOP system, having served on several franchisee boards over the years, including the Board of Advisors.
In addition, he’s a founding director of Centralized Supply Chain Services, which is the sole purchasing agent for the Applebee’s and IHOP systems.
“I’m grateful to GE Capital for helping me increase my investment in the IHOP brand, and I look forward to continued growth with the IHOP system," Milisci says. “Doing business with a lender that specializes in the restaurant industry enabled me to close this transaction with speed and confidence.”
“We’ve been a lender to Romulus since 2012,” says Trey Brown, sales leader of GEFF. “Chris and his management team are top-notch operators, choosing excellent sites and capitalizing on IHOP’s exciting new menu.”
The transaction was originated by Todd Cortell, a senior vice president with GEFF responsible for restaurant financing in the West region.