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In a partner buy-out, Todd Bisbocci of Tacobocci acquired 19 Taco Bell restaurants in Tucson, Arizona from his original equity partners. This makes Bisbocci the majority owner of the Taco Bell market in the Tucson area. Bisbocci, represented by Unbridled Capital, also refinanced through City National Bank. “COVID provided plenty of ups-and-downs during our process, but the Unbridled team was unwavering in their service and attention to detail. I am thrilled with the result of the transaction and grateful for their unswerving support,” said Bisbocci in a statement.

Franchise Group entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pet Supplies Plus from Sentinel Capital Partners for $700 million, in a deal expected to close March 2021. Pet Supplies Plus—a 30-year-old retail chain and franchisor of pet supplies and services—has more than 530 locations in 36 states, 60 percent of which are franchisee-owned, plus 185 new stores in various stages of development. The deal would result in a systemwide annualized revenue of $3.6 billion for Franchise Group, which operates more than 4,100 franchised businesses such as Liberty Tax Service, Buddy’s Home Furnishings, American Freight and The Vitamin Shoppe. Private equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners has acquired 14 franchise investments in the U.S. and Canada including Taco Bell franchisee Border Foods.

Private equity firm Corlex Capital secured funding to refinance and provide growth capital for Bandon Holdings, the largest franchisee of 24-hour fitness club Anytime Fitness. Atlanta-based Corlex Capital, founded and led by CEO Jason Bedasse, served as the exclusive debt adviser to Bandon for the financing, which will help Austin-based Bandon grow the franchise and aid in funding any pending and future acquisitions. Bandon launched in 2012 and has approximately 40 gyms across Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Corlex Capital also recently acquired 10 Wingstop restaurants and plans to acquire or otherwise develop 13 more Wingstop stores in 2021. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Minnesota, Anytime Fitness has more than 4,000 franchised locations in 30 countries.

Restaurant conglomerate Landry's and casino company Golden Nugget plan to go public at $6.6 billion after merging with blank-check company Fast Acquisition. At closing, institutional investors have agreed to infuse $1.2 billion into the publicly-traded Landry’s/Golden Nugget. Tilman Fertitta, the owner of Landry’s—a Houston-based international franchisor of casual and upscale restaurants—will become the controlling shareholder of the company with 60 percent interest once the deal closes. Fast Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), was formed by Ruby Tuesday founder Sandy Beall and investor Doug Jacob.

Private investment partnership City Capital Ventures made a majority investment in Rackson Restaurants, a New Jersey-based Burger King and Popeyes franchisee with more than 55 units across six states. Headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and led by founder and CEO Chris Johnson, Rackson has QSR restaurants in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. This deal marks City Capital Ventures’ second investment into the Burger King system, following their 2019 acquisition of Canada’s largest Burger King franchisee. “The caliber and expertise of CCV and their advisors will strengthen our operational excellence and turbocharge our growth strategy,” Johnson said in a statement.

MidOcean Partners acquired Lynx Franchising and its 225 franchised and company-owned locations across its three brands: Intelligent Office, FRSTeam and Jan-Pro Systems International. Lynx brands offer commercial and industrial services in cleaning and disinfecting, disaster remediation and virtual office services. The deal comes as Jan-Pro has set its sights on new markets for franchise development such as Hawaii, Madison, Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa. Middle market private equity firm MidOcean Partners is based in New York and focuses on consumer and business services sectors, and has managed about $4.8 billion of capital since its inception in 2003.

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