The restaurant industry is seeing signs of recovery.
Bob Bielinski, a CIT Group managing director within corporate finance, says there have been more notable deals this year than all of 2009. “We are not quite at ‘good’ but we are starting to get better,” he says.
The year started off strongly when Papa Murphy’s, which offers take-n-bake pizza, was sold to Lee Equity Partners for about 10x EBITDA in April. That same month, Roark Capital Group bought Wingstop Restaurants. In May, Mill Road Capital acquired Rubio’s Restaurants for roughly $91 million. Oak Hill Capital Partners closed its $570 million buy of Dave & Buster’s in June (7x EBITDA). Apollo Management this month completed its $694 million buy of CKE Restaurants, which runs the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains (6x EBITDA), while Golden Gate Capital closed its $180 million buy of On The Border.