Hooters Acquired by Private Equity Firms

The Hooters restaurant chain, known for its beautiful waitresses in orange shorts and t-shirts, has been acquired by private equity firms Nord Bay Capital and NY-based TriArtisan Capital Advisors. The firms bought Hooters of America, the chain’s parent company, from H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), Chanticleer Holdings and other investors. The amount of the deal wasn’t disclosed.

As part of the transaction, the selling entities will each retain a stake in the Company.

Hooters of America, LLC, is the franchisor and operator of more than 430 Hooters restaurants in 38 states and 27 countries. The Hooters chain opened its first restaurant in Clearwater, FL in 1983 and quickly grew with its combination of chicken wings, beers and sexy waitresses. (Photo above: Hooters waitresses, source: Facebook)

Terry Marks, Chief Executive Officer of Hooters of America, said: “The partnership with Nord Bay and TriArtisan comes at an ideal time for the company, bringing fresh partners with complementary skills and experience to support our next phase of growth to the benefit of all our employees, franchisees and customers. Our core business is strong with a world-famous and differentiated brand, a first-rate management team and a loyal base of experienced franchisees. In addition, we are pleased with the early results of our new fast casual concept and plan additional openings later this year.”

Marks continued: “Since joining HOA, I have had the opportunity to work closely with our investors and I want to personally thank all of them for their guidance. In particular, I would like to recognize H.I.G. for its leadership on the board. I am pleased that all will remain invested in HOA, which speaks to their confidence in the brand’s positive trajectory and future upside.”

William Pepper, Principal, Nord Bay Capital, stated: “Hooters is an iconic global brand that has shown strong financial growth and development. With nine consecutive quarters of same store sales growth and thirteen consecutive quarters outperforming the casual dining bar & grill category, we see Hooters as a real jewel in the restaurant category. We’re excited to work with Terry, his senior leadership team, along with the Hooters global franchise community and employees to drive continued success in the years to come.”

Rohit Manocha, a TriArtisan Founding Partner, said; “As a true innovator in the chicken wing space for over 35 years, Hooters is highly differentiated in a category that is more popular than ever. Terry and the senior leadership team have done a tremendous job elevating the Company and tapping into what today’s consumer wants. We are confident about the future growth of this great brand.”