Mystery buyer to acquire Hooters of America

Hooters of America has found a buyer nearly one year after going up for sale for a second time, according to three sources.

It’s unclear who is acquiring the restaurant chain. Founded by six friends in 1983, the chain is known for featuring waitresses wearing skimpy orange shorts and tight white T-shirts. Hooters franchises and operates more than 420 restaurants in 42 states and 29 countries.

Hooters produces about $60 million in Ebitda; it is selling for roughly $300 million to $380 million, two of the sources said. An announcement of the sale is expected Friday, June 21, people said.

A consortium including H.I.G. CapitalKarpReilly and Chanticleer Holdings acquired the company in 2011. H.I.G. has a majority stake, Buyouts reported. In the current sale, H.I.G. is rolling over part of its stake, one of the sources said.

Hooters went up for sale last year, Buyouts said in July 2018. Piper Jaffray advised on the process.

Hooters was also on the block in 2015. At that time, it was seeking bids of 7x to 7.5x, Buyouts said.

The identity of Hooters’s mystery buyer couldn’t be discerned. Some pointed to TriArtisan Capital Advisors LLC and Paulson & Co, who recently bought P.F. Chang’s for $700 million. UPDATE: Paulson & Co denied that it is buying Hooters, a spokeswoman said. Executives for TriArtisan declined comment.

Hooters, H.I.G. and KarpReilly could not be reached for comment. Chanticleer declined comment.

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