An affiliate of Canadian private equity firm Equicapita has acquired Smitty’s Canada, a Calgary-based family restaurant chain. No financial terms were released for the deal, which closed earlier this month. Founded in 1960 by Walter Chan, Smitty’s has 85 franchise and corporate locations across Canada. Recently led by President Chris Chan, the company will in the future be managed by Steven Fee as president and Eric Metzler as CFO. Equicapita is focused on acquiring private Canadian businesses with enterprise values of $5 million to $50 million-plus. Smitty’s is the Calgary firm’s seventh portfolio investment.
Equicapita Announces Acquisition of Smitty’s Canada
CALGARY, April 16, 2018 /CNW/ – Equicapita Income Trust and Equicapita Investment Corp. (collectively “Equicapita”) are pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of Smitty’s Canada (“Smitty’s”) by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equicapita (the “Acquisition”).
Smitty’s was founded in 1960 by Walter Chan and is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. With 85 locations across Canada (80 franchise locations and 5 corporate locations), Smitty’s is one of Canada’s largest family restaurant chains. Smitty’s has developed a long-term sustainable business model that attracts loyal customers, entrepreneurial franchisees, and has a strong supplier and franchise support system.
“The opportunity to acquire a well-known Canadian brand with resilient royalty income from the extensive franchisee network is transformational to the size and scope of Equicapita’s investment portfolio. The Smitty’s leadership team has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the integrity of the brand and a focus on core family values in building and maintaining the Smitty’s network across Canada” said Equicapita co-founder, Michael Cook. “Smitty’s provides Equicapita with further portfolio diversification, both geographically and by industry, and adds considerable stability to the portfolio’s income profile.”
Equicapita is committed to the long-term success of the Smitty’s business which includes Smitty’s strong relationships with its great network of franchisees. “We understand the family nature of this business and the importance of the franchisees to the long-term success of the overall business. Under the recent leadership of Chris Chan, and his grandfather before him, a business with family values was created and nurtured and we will remain focused on preserving that culture” said Michael Cook.
Smitty’s will continue to be managed under the leadership of Steven Fee, President and Eric Metzler, Chief Financial Officer. Chris Chan has agreed to provide Smitty’s his expertise over a transitionary period.
Consistent with Equicapita’s investment mandate of assembling a diversified portfolio of long-established Canadian businesses, Smitty’s has 58 years of operating history serving customers in many communities across Canada. Smitty’s consistent history of strong profitability, along with the continuity of operations by its dedicated staff and excellent franchise operators, represent cornerstones of Equicapita’s investment strategy.
The Acquisition closed on April 9, 2018. Following completion of the Acquisition, the business has been operating under the name “Smitty’s Canada Inc.”. The Acquisition represents Equicapita’s seventh portfolio company acquisition and its second master franchisor generating royalty revenues.
Equicapita retained Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP as advisors in connection with the Acquisition. Smitty’s retained ATB M&A Advisory Services as financial advisors in connection with the Acquisition.
Founded in 2013, Equicapita is a private company buyout fund based in Calgary, Alberta with over $130 million in AUM focused on acquiring private, Canadian businesses with enterprise values ranging from $5 million to $50+ million.
For more information please contact:
Michael Cook, Director
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