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Captain D’s, Qdoba Attract New Owners in Separate Deals


Captain D's is a seafood-focused restaurant chain with a beachy interior vibe, which proved attractive to new owner Sentinel Capital.

Captain D’s sold to Sentinel Capital and Qdoba went to Apollo Global Management this week, in separate franchise deals that come amid the usual flurry of end-of-the-year mergers and acquisitions.

A Qdoba deal had been expected for months, after an announcement in May that Jack in the Box Inc., its parent company, said having two different business models could be holding down its valuation. Qdoba is a 725-unit Mexican chain and Jack in the Box is its burger-focused business with more than 2,200 units.

Apollo is a private equity firm run by co-founder Leon Block, which agreed to buy Qdoba for about $305 million in cash, proceeds of which Jack in the Box will use to retire outstanding debt. Apollo owns Chuck E. Cheese and is the former owner of Carl’s Jr.

Sentinel Capital, meanwhile, added Captain D’s to its portfolio of franchise brands, scooping up the franchisor and operator of 530 seafood-focused quick-service restaurants in 21 U.S. states. Captain D’s holds a “unique market position,” said John McCormack, a Sentinel senior partner, in a statement, adding Captain D’s has recently been attracting younger guests and is the “clear category leader.”

Sentinel has made eight other restaurant franchise investments since its inception, buying franchisors and franchisees alike. Those include Border Foods, a leading QSR franchisee of Taco Bell; Checkers/Rally’s, the largest franchisor and operator of dual drive-thru hamburger QSRs in the U.S.; Falcon Holdings, a franchisee of Church’s Chicken; Fazoli’s Group, an Italian restaurant chain; Huddle House, a franchisor of family dining restaurants; Newk’s Eatery; Southern California Pizza Company, the largest Pizza Hut franchisee in the greater Los Angeles market; and TGI Friday’s.


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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




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