High Bluff Capital Partners, the parent company of Quiznos, Taco Del Mar, and Church’s Texas Chicken has agreed to buy 81 Hardee’s locations following a court-approved auction of assets of Summit Restaurant Holdings, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May.
The sale hearing for the restaurants is set for July 18 and the sale itself is expected to close in August, according to a release from High Bluff. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Hardee’s restaurants are located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Wyoming.
High Bluff said the purchase was in line with its strategy of “investing in iconic consumer-facing brands, with a strong presence in historically underserved markets, that have the opportunity for significant growth and value creation.”
High Bluff founder Anand Gowda said Hardee’s, a quick-service chain franchised by CKE Restaurant Holdings, which also franchises quick-service Carl’s Jr., fits into that mold.
Hardee’s operates mostly in the Midwest and South, and Carl’s Jr. is mostly in the West, with overseas locations as well.
“Hardee’s is a regionally strong brand, known for its quality, hand-crafted menu,” Gowda said in the release. “These restaurants in many cases have served as central neighborhood hubs, where people and families come to gather and connect. It’s in areas like these where we see the greatest opportunity to create value by truly having a positive impact on local communities and the people who call them home. Guests aren’t just craving delicious food, they’re craving togetherness and we are thrilled to partner with the Hardee’s team to deliver that.”
At the time of Summit’s bankruptcy, it and its subsidiaries continued to operate 108 restaurants after having closed 39 in previous weeks.
CKE had said at the time that it was looking to sell the restaurants to “a qualified and well-capitalized buyer with a record of success across the restaurant, entertainment, food, beverage and retail markets.”
On Monday CKE CEO Max Wetzel said High Bluff was just such a company.
“With an impressive track record of growing numerous consumer brands, High Bluff is the ideal partner to support our efforts to deliver outstanding service and the foods our core customers crave, while making critical investments in restaurant remodels and other initiatives designed to boost traffic and sales,” he said in the release.
Dave Dixon will be overseeing the operations of the 81 Hardee’s restaurants, according to High Bluff. He previously operated 116 Hardee’s locations from 2000 to 2003 and increased their sales by 35% according to High Bluff, which said he also had experience with quick-service brands KFC, Burger King, Culver’s, Popeyes, and Church’s.
Coady Smith, a principal at High Bluff, said the firm would continue to seek more restaurants to buy.
“We are excited about the additional scale and diversity the Hardee’s opportunity brings to our platform,” Smith said. “Over the next few years, we plan to continue to aggressively pursue new acquisitions, with a goal of growing our platform to six to ten restaurant concepts with $75 to $100 million of EBITDA.”
High Bluff Capital Partners is based in San Diego, Calif.
There are more than 2,100 Hardee’s locations nationwide.