Axum Capital acquires burger franchise Back Yard Burgers

Axum Capital Partners has acquired a controlling stake in Nashville-based burger franchise Back Yard Burgers. The seller was Pharos Capital Group. No financial terms were disclosed.


NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Back Yard Burgers, a pioneer in the better burger category, announced today that Axum Capital Partners, a Charlotte, NC, based private equity firm, has acquired a controlling interest in the company from Pharos Capital Group, LLC. The acquisition marks another significant milestone for the company, further highlighting Back Yard Burgers’ progress under the leadership of David McDougall, its Chief Executive Officer who joined the 55-unit operator and franchisor about five years ago.

For three decades, Back Yard Burgers has established a strong brand presence predicated on delivering high-quality flame grilled burgers and sandwiches in a welcoming environment. Since inception, the Back Yard Burgers story has always been rooted in the promise of offering consumers one-of-a-kind burgers using the highest quality ingredients, prepared in a way that tastes like you made it in your own backyard.

“Partnering with Axum creates an exciting opportunity for our dedicated franchise partners and loyal team members to reach the next level of success,” said McDougall. “We’re well on our way to becoming the market leader in our category, and we’re thrilled to be working with Axum’s experienced leadership team.”

Back Yard Burgers recently marked a major milestone and celebrated its 30-year anniversary in May 2017. Today there are 32 franchised and 23 company-owned restaurants across 11 states – Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Carolina. The company was founded by Lattimore Michael in 1987 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Through this new partnership with Axum, Back Yard Burgers’ management under the leadership of McDougall will work closely with Axum to strengthen the company’s competitive position and execute its growth strategy. In addition to bringing additional resources to the company, Axum’s deep industry expertise will enable Back Yard Burgers to achieve its long-term objectives.

“David and his team have made great strides and we are pleased to support their next phase of growth,” said Edna Morris, Axum managing director. “The better burger category remains strong, and Back Yard Burgers is poised for growth.”

“We will continue to maintain our disciplined and comprehensive investment approach and are pleased to add Back Yard Burgers to our portfolio; what I love most about Back Yard Burgers is the food,” said Muhsin Muhammad, Axum managing director. “It has the best-tasting burgers, and we are looking forward to being part of its future success.”

About Back Yard Burgers
Founded in 1987 in Cleveland, MS, Back Yard Burgers is a fast casual, better-burger concept that takes pride in its commitment to “providing custom, flame-grilled burgers and sandwiches with care.” The company’s franchise partners and employees are passionate about offering fresh ingredients, allowing their guests to customize their meals and serve the same high-quality food they would offer at home to their own family. Along with made-to-order gourmet Angus burgers, Back Yard Burgers’ menu includes delicious grilled chicken sandwiches, fresh and creative salads, hand-dipped milkshakes, and freshly baked desserts. Today the franchise brand operates 55 locations (23-company owned and 33 franchised restaurants) in 11 states. Back Yard Burgers is a strong supporter of Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry, whose goal is to end childhood hunger in America.

About Axum Capital Partners
Axum Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on making strategic equity investments in middle market operating companies across North America. Axum’s target markets include food and beverage, educational services and other markets that share similar characteristics. To execute its well-defined investment strategy, Axum has brought together a diverse team with deep industry expertise, robust transaction execution capabilities, and a unique ability to create value in its portfolio through its access to the professional athlete community. For more information visit: