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Taco Bell ‘Zee Adds 25 More Units


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With its most recent acquisition, Virginia Beach, Virginia-based Taco Bell franchisee Burgerbusters added 25 units of the quick service Mexican chain to its growing portfolio. The deal brings Burgerbusters’ total restaurant count up to 142 and puts the company in the position of owning the majority of the Taco Bell locations in Virginia. The 25 units were acquired from Tacoma Inc., itself a Taco Bell franchisee for more than 25 years.

Investment banking firm Trinity Capital assisted Burgerbusters on the deal and advised the franchisee on various aspects of the overall acquisition including the sale-leaseback of units, the sale of other properties, obtaining a credit facility and franchisor approval for the transaction.

“My relationship with Trinity dates back many years and includes several prior transactions,” said Tassos Paphites, chairman and CEO of Burgerbusters. “This latest transaction not only increased our unit count by more than 20 percent and expanded our footprint in Virginia, it also provided access to additional capital for continued growth.”

Kevin Burke, Trinity’s managing director, said the acquisition enables Burgerbusters to “leverage its operational, financial and development skills with a broader store base.” The deal also makes Burgerbusters one of the larger Taco Bell operators in the U.S. The company was No. 66 on Franchise Times’ Restaurant 200 list in 2017; it also operates nine Steak ‘n Shake locations.

 

In other QSR acquisition news, Long John Silver’s bought 76 if its restaurants from franchisee Bob Ruckriegel, with the restaurants located primarily in Indiana. Long John Silver’s President and COO Brian Unger called the acquisition “an excellent opportunity to continue our brand revitalization.”

“We’re thrilled to add an extensive line-up of well-performing restaurants to our company-owned portfolio and to continue the legacy that Bob has left behind,” said Unger.

With the deal Long John Silver’s grows its company-owned system to 200 restaurants and includes the addition of the ServUS operations team. Long John Silver’s recently began revitalizing its brand, swapping the Cape Cod building elements for clean, nautical-themed lines of a new design. The newly renovated restaurants have already reported double-digit growth, and the newest Long John Silver’s locations from ServUs in Indiana will showcase the new design as well as adding the brand’s new grilled platform to the restaurants. The brand shifted from a 100 percent franchised system and began acquiring restaurants in late 2015. Today Long John Silver’s owns 20 percent of the restaurants in its system, making it the largest restaurant operator for the brand.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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