Atalaya Capital Management has received bankruptcy court approval for its acquisition of casual restaurant operator Bennigan’s Franchising Co., which also includes the Tavern and Steak & Ale brands. The deal is expected to close by month’s end.
Atalaya Capital Management and Bennigan’s Franchising Company, L.P. are pleased to announce that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, has approved the acquisition of Bennigan’s Franchising Company by affiliates of Atalaya Capital, including the company’s equity, trademarks and other assets, including the Tavern and Steak & Ale brands. Atalaya Capital expects to close on the acquisition on or before October 31, 2008.
“We’re thrilled to have reached an agreement with the Bankruptcy court for the acquisition of Bennigan’s Franchising Company and our goal is to continue to partner with existing franchisees, as well as new ones, to grow the Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern brand,” said Joel Holsinger, a Partner at Atalaya Capital Management. “We are excited about working with everyone involved in the company to reinvigorate the Bennigan’s brand.”
Bennigan’s is currently working with both existing and new franchisees to re-open up to 60 previously closed company-owned restaurants as well as open new franchisee-owned locations both domestically and internationally. Despite the market turmoil and circumstances facing BFC’s former parent, four company-owned locations have been re-opened in the last several months. In addition, four new locations have opened domestically and three have opened internationally.
Bennigan’s is also evaluating, and will soon announce, a new culinary program to place added emphasis on the brand’s distinctive food as well as the appointment of a marketing consultant to help reposition the brand going forward, including the introduction of a new fast-pub prototype and concept.
“Throughout these past few months, we’ve greatly appreciated the support and hard work of our franchisees and vendors,” said Vince Runco, interim President and CEO of Bennigan’s Franchising Company. “We continue to build the franchisor’s infrastructure to support our franchisees and grow the system. A rejuvenated Bennigan’s will continue to offer the same great food and fun atmosphere that our patrons love while improving upon their overall dining experience.”
About Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern
Since 1976, Bennigan’s has been offering customers a diverse food and drink menu with an Irish influence in a classic grill & tavern setting. Bennigan’s menu is loaded with salads, burgers, steak and chicken entrees, sandwiches and desserts. Menu favorites include the Monte Cristo sandwich, Kilkenny Country Chicken Salad, Burger Bites, Boneless Buffalo Wings, and “Oh Baby” Back Ribs. At Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern you are always welcome for lunch, dinner and happy hour. To learn more, please visit www.bennigansfc.com.
About Atalaya Capital Management
Atalaya Capital Management is an alternative investment firm with offices in New York and Atlanta that focuses on private debt, mezzanine and equity investments in middle-market companies.