Sold: Bojangles’ acquired by Advent International

After rumors of a possible sale dating back to February, Bojangles' Restaurants Inc. has officially been sold to Advent International, a global private equity firm headquartered in Boston.

Falfurrias Capital Partners, a private equity firm based out of Charlotte, N.C., has owned Bojangles' for the past four years. The split was amicable and Marc D. Oken, co-founder and managing partner of Falfurrias, said the company's timeline for holding investments is typically four to seven years.

"Given the potential for continued sales growth, profitability and expansion of Bojangles' geographic footprint, we felt it was the ideal time for the company to bring in a new financial partner and for us to provide liquidity to our shareholders," he said. "We are extremely proud of the industry-leading performance the Bojangles' management team has achieved in the face of a difficult economic environment. The excellent opportunity that our ownership group saw in Bojangles' when we invested in the company has been borne out by the outstanding results the company has achieved over the last four years."

Bojangles' generated positive same-store sales growth through the recession.

Systemwide sales increased more than 40 percent to nearly $800 million. Also, total store counts increased 33 percent, up to 503 from 377 from the time of the Falfurrias acquisition in September 2007.

"We want to acknowledge Falfurrias's incredible support over the past four years, which helped Bojangles' become the fastest-growing, free-standing quick-service restaurant concept in the country," said Bojangles' CEO Randy Kibler. "We look forward to the next exciting phase of our company's development."

As part of the transaction, Falfurrias has agreed to sell its entire investment in Bojangles' to Advent. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in August 2011.

Bojangles' also is based in Charlotte and has a presence in 10 states and the District of Columbia. The restaurant franchise plans to open 40 new restaurants in 2011 and will expand its operations across the South. Kibler and the rest of the company's leadership team will remain with Bojangles'.

Advent has experience with other fast growing concepts such as Five Below and Lululemon Athletica. Steven Collins, managing director at Advent, said with the help of operating partner Will Kussell, formerly of Dunkin' Donuts, the company was able to identify Bojangles' unique position in the marketplace.

"The Bojangles' brand, its success in all three dayparts, and its strong core markets in North and South Carolina have made it one of the most promising restaurant concepts out there. We intend to build on these foundations to fulfill Bojangles' significant potential," said Andrew Crawford, principal at Advent.

For the transaction, Bojangles' was advised by Harris Williams & Co. Advent was advised by Weil, Gotshal & Manges (legal), Bain & Company (market), Buxton (real estate) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (financial). Financing for the transaction is being led by Jefferies and RBC Capital Markets.

Falfurrias was advised on the transaction by Harris Williams & Co. (financial) and McGuireWoods LLP (legal).

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