Z Capital Partners increases ownership stake in Real Mex Restaurants

Z Capital Partners has increased its ownership stake in Real Mex Restaurants. No financial terms were disclosed; however, according to the company, as a result of the transaction, Z Capital is now the largest shareholder of Real Mex. Also, Real Mex has named James J. Zenni, founder, president and CEO of Z Capital as chairman of its board of directors. Headquartered in Cypress, California, Real Mex Restaurants is a Mexican restaurant chain.


LAKE FOREST, Ill., Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. (“Z Capital”), a leading private equity firm that makes controlling investments in companies in need of revitalization or restructuring, today announced that it has acquired an equity stake of a non-strategic minority holder and increased its equity ownership of Real Mex Restaurants, the largest full service, casual dining Mexican restaurant chain in the United States. As a result of this transaction, Z Capital is now the largest shareholder of Real Mex.
Concurrent with this transaction, the Company announced that James J. Zenni, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Z Capital, has been named Chairman of the Real Mex Board of Directors.
“We are thrilled to become the largest shareholder of Real Mex,” said Mr. Zenni. “Since Charly Robinson was appointed as CEO, Real Mex has improved operations and efficiencies and the management team is laser focused on the current turnaround strategy to drive profitability and enhance customer relationships. We remain dedicated to supporting Real Mex and are confident that, with Charly and his talented management team, the Company is positioned for future growth and success.”
“This is an exciting transaction for all of us at Real Mex,” said Charly Robinson, President and CEO of Real Mex. “Z Capital has been a dedicated partner since their initial investment in the Company and is deeply committed to the Company’s vision to revitalize the Real Mex brands. With the support of a seasoned financial sponsor we are continuing to develop our brands and expand into new markets.”
Mr. Robinson continued, “We are pleased to name Mr. Zenni Chairman of the Real Mex Board. Real Mex will benefit from Mr. Zenni’s operational expertise and leadership experience and we look forward to his contributions.”
About Real Mex
Headquartered in Cypress, California, Real Mex Restaurants is the largest full-service, casual dining Mexican restaurant chain operator in the United States with 121 company owned and operated restaurants, as well as 14 franchised restaurants. Our brands include El Torito Restaurants, Acapulco Mexican Restaurants, Chevys Fresh Mex® Restaurants, El Torito Grill Restaurants, Las Brisas Restaurant in Laguna Beach, Sinigual Restaurant in New York City, Who Song and Larry’s in Vancouver, WA, and El Paso Cantina in Torrance, CA. In addition, our Real Mex Foods division is a custom manufacturer of foodservice and private label products in addition to co-packing for other manufacturers.
About Z Capital Partners
Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. is a leading private equity firm with approximately $1.1 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management that makes constructive, control investments in distressed middle-market companies that require turnaround, restructuring, or bankruptcy or are otherwise special situations. Z Capital invests in companies challenged by the need to effect immediate changes to their financial structure and or business model.
Z Capital’s Investment team has more than a sixteen year track record investing in distressed private equity and credit related strategies and in excess of 200 years combined experience. Industries in which the principals of Z Capital have invested include consumer products, steel, steel processors, agriculture, gaming, leisure – real estate, manufacturing, specialty services and automotive.
Z Capital portfolio companies currently have aggregate worldwide annual revenues of approximately $3 billion, sell products in 98 countries, and employ 26,000 associates directly and through joint ventures.
Z Capital specializes in managing assets in the distressed private equity / special situations and leveraged finance universe
Z Capital’s investors include prominent global sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices, wealth management firms and other financial institutions in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.