TriArtisan, Nord Bay near deal on wing specialist Hooters: sources

TriArtisan Capital Partners is near a deal to buy Hooters of America, three sources said.

The New York firm is teaming up with Nord Bay Capital to acquire the restaurant chain, the people said. Hooters is selling for north of $350 million, one of the sources said. Piper Jaffray is advising on the process, Buyouts previously reported.

An announcement of the sale to TriArtisan and Nord Bay is expected early next week or Monday, the source said.

The deal represents an eight-year hold for investors Chanticleer Holding, H.I.G. Capital and KarpReilly. The consortium acquired Hooters in January 2011. H.I.G. owns a majority stake.

Founded by six friends in 1983, Hooters is known for its chicken wings and its waitresses, who wear orange shorts and white tank tops. Hooters franchises and operates more than 420 restaurants in 42 states and 29 countries.

The transaction is the latest for TriArtisan, which was part of the group that acquired P.F. Chang’s for $700 million. Based in New York, TriArtisan does not have a fund and operates as an independent sponsor. The firm invests in companies with Ebitda of $25 million to $300 million, its website said. It focuses on sectors including retail and consumer, business and professional services, industrial, media and healthcare.

It is particularly fond of the restaurant sector. TriArtisan in March partnered with Paulson & Co to buy P.F. Chang’s. In 2014, TriArtisan and Sentinel Capital scooped up TGI Fridays for $890 million.

Nord Bay, of Tampa, Florida, is the investment firm from Joakim Bergander, according to Florida’s Division of Corporations. Bergander is the former chief investment officer of Third Lake Capital, the family office of Ashley Furniture founder Ronald Wanek.

Bergander has launched several companies since exiting Third Lake several years ago. In addition to Nord Bay, Bergander is listed as the agent for entities including Franchise Venture Partners II LLC and Hawk Acquisitions Management LLC, the Florida corporations website said.

Bergander is also a former investment banker, having worked at Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and HSBC, his biography said.

Executives for Chanticleer declined comment. TriArtisan, KarpReilly, H.I.G., Bergander, Hooters and Nord Bay could not be reached for comment.