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Catterton invests in restaurant chain Protein Bar

Catterton Partners has invested in Protein Bar, a fast-casual restaurant chain. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Protein Bar will use the proceeds to expand its concept of providing customers “craveable food” that is good for them.

Press Release

Protein Bar®, a high-growth fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in healthy, on-the-go options, today announced a capital investment by Catterton Partners, the leading consumer-focused private equity firm. The investment will be used to foster the expansion of the Protein Bar concept across the country. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Protein Bar offers high-quality, healthy food in a modern and hip fast-casual environment. Known for its “Bar-ritos”, quinoa bowls, salads and protein drinks, Protein Bar provides its guests with craveable food that is good for them, in a manner and speed that is in tune with their busy lifestyles. Protein Bar was founded in Chicago in 2009 by Matt Matros, who – having changed his diet to focus on healthy, high-protein foods and losing 60 pounds as a result – sought to create a concept that would provide health-conscious diners with affordable, on-the-go options.

In 2013, Protein Bar was named one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 50 Breakout Brands and was the winner of the Inaugural James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. Founder Matros was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2013 as well as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 Under 40” in 2012. Protein Bar currently has 12 restaurants located in Chicago and Washington, D.C. and recently announced expansion to a third market – Denver, Colorado.

Mr. Matros said, “We are delighted to partner with Catterton, the leading private equity firm in consumer investing. We believe our concept, which is focused on providing on-the-go customers with healthy options that boast great quality and flavor, is primed for growth. Catterton has an excellent track record of working with market-leading restaurant concepts such as Noodles & Company, Outback Steakhouse, Mendocino Farms, First Watch and P.F. Chang’s, as well as expertise helping to grow health conscious brands such as Core Power Yoga, Plum Organics, O.N.E. coconut water and Van’s Natural Foods. As the leading healthy fast-casual brand, we are thrilled to be partnering with the leading consumer-focused private equity firm.”

“We are excited about our investment in Protein Bar, a truly unique concept which capitalizes on two major restaurant trends: great tasting food and healthy, on-the-go options, all at an attractive price point,” said Scott A. Dahnke, Co-Managing Partner of Catterton Partners. “With Catterton’s significant experience in helping to grow differentiated restaurant concepts and health conscious brands, we believe Protein Bar is a perfect fit for the type of value we bring to our investments.”

“As consumers continue to struggle with trying to maintain a healthy diet in today’s time-pressed and hectic world, the demand for quality, healthy food options while on the run continues to grow,” said Jon Owsley, a Partner at Catterton. “Protein Bar delivers on what consumers crave – great tasting food that is good for you, delivered quickly by friendly people in a hip, modern environment. Matt has a strong team with smart, creative ideas, and we look forward to leveraging our collective talents as we expand the concept across the U.S.”

Catterton Partners recently closed its seventh buyout fund, Catterton Partners VII, L.P., as well as its second growth fund, Catterton Growth Partners II, L.P. With the closing of these two funds, which include a combined $2.1 billion of Limited and General Partner commitments, Catterton now has over $4.0 billion under active management focused on growing well-positioned consumer companies.

Protein Bar was advised in its exclusive discussions with Catterton by North Point Advisors and legal counsel Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP. Catterton was represented by Finn Dixon & Herling LLP.

About Protein Bar

Founded in Chicago in 2009, Protein Bar is a fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in healthy, on-the-go options. Its mission is to change the way people eat on the go, with a focus on doing healthy healthier. This means the menu, service, and stores are focused on healthy food served up in a quick, engaging way for active, on-the-go customers. Protein Bar currently has 12 restaurants in Chicago and Washington, D.C. and recently announced expansion to a third market – Denver, Colorado.


About Catterton Partners

Catterton Partners is the leading consumer-focused private equity firm with more than $4.0 billion currently under management and a twenty-four year track record of success in building high growth companies. Since its founding in 1989, Catterton has leveraged its category insight, strategic and operating skills, and network of industry contacts to establish one of the strongest private equity investment track records in the middle market. Catterton Partners invests in all major consumer segments, including Food and Beverage, Retail and Restaurants, Consumer Products and Services, Consumer Health, and Media and Marketing Services. Catterton’s investments include: Restoration Hardware, Outback Steakhouse, Sweet Leaf Tea, Noodles & Company, PIADA, Bruxie, Frederic Fekkai, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Wellness and Nature’s Variety pet food, Kettle Foods, Odwalla and P.F. Chang’s, to name a few. More information about Catterton Partners can be found at