Infinity Franchise Capital Is Sold



Infinity Franchise Capital has been sold. The Montvale, New Jersey-based lender has been sold to the Irvine, California-based Pacific Premier Bancorp, for an estimated $16 million in cash and stock.

The deal gives Pacific a national lender that, as of October 31, had about $79 million in loan commitments, and $75 million in loans outstanding, with none of them delinquent. It also gives them an inroad into QSR lending. Infinity loans money into top tier brands such as Dunkin' Donuts, Burger King, Wendy's, Sonic, Jack in the Box and Yum Brands concepts.

"The QSR franchisee lending business is an appealing niche market that provides excellent growth opportunities in the future," Pacific CEO Steven Gardner said in a release.

The deal will enable Infinity to expand its business development efforts "to the entire universe of top-tier QSR brands," said John Rinaldi, Infinity's CEO. He added that the deal will increase the "depth" of Infinity's relationships, because Infinity will be able to leverage Pacific's SBA lending platform and its cash management products. Thus, Rinaldi said, "We believe that we can capture additional market share and be a significant contributor to the continued growth and profitability of Pacific Premier."

Former executives from Irwin Franchise Capital (and then First Franchise Capital), along with the investment firm Perella Weinberg Partners, formed Infinity Franchise Capital in March 2011, at a time when lending in the franchise sector had been exceptionally weak following the credit crisis and the recession. Lending in the franchise restaurant space has since picked up, to the point now that some wonder whether there is a credit bubble in the restaurant industry. Earlier this year, Irwin reached a deal with Rabobank, which agreed to provide up to $350 million for franchise restaurant loans.

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News, notes and commentary on franchise financing, including SBA lending, both the SBA 7(a) program and the SBA 504 program, franchise finance programs, development incentives, big deals and startup lending.

  Mary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and its sister publication, the Restaurant Finance Monitor. She is a frequent speaker at meetings and conferences, and at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. You can find her on Twitter at @mlarson1011.
  Reporter Jonathan Maze covers restaurants and finance for Franchise Times. He also writes for our sister publication, The Restaurant Finance Monitor, and writes a daily blog on the restaurant industry at www.restfinance.com. You can also catch him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze.

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