Real Mex Restaurants (“Real Mex” or “the Company”) said the previously approved sale of the Company’s assets to a newly created entity associated with certain of the Company’s noteholders closed today, marking the Company’s exit from its Chapter 11 restructuring. The owners of the new entity include funds managed by Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Z Capital Partners and J.P. Morgan Investment Management.
“Today marks a new beginning for Real Mex Restaurants and we’re very excited to move forward with a new ownership group committed to providing the appropriate resources to enhance our concepts, and strengthen Real Mex’s position as the industry leader in Mexican casual dining,” said Real Mex CEO David Goronkin. “We have an energized management team, a much stronger capital structure and a solid base of restaurants. Most of all, we’re excited to focus 100 percent of our energies on continuing to revitalize our brands and support our restaurant teams so they can deliver outstanding guest experiences.”
Real Mex said brand repositioning, menu and experience update initiatives underway across its three core brands of El Torito, Chevys and Acapulco have resulted in steadily improving guest satisfaction scores. Under Goronkin, who joined the company in June 2011, Real Mex has decentralized its restaurant operations into more autonomous business units with dedicated brand leadership.
“We have all been working very hard to enhance every aspect of our brands and our new owners fully support the strategies underway to create strong long-term growth,” Goronkin said. “Both our guests and employees are enthusiastic about the changes we’re making and this is just the beginning. We’re turning the page and moving full speed ahead. We look forward to welcoming back our loyal guests as well as introducing our exciting brands to those that have yet to experience our distinctive and cravable Mexican cuisine and our delicious array of tasty margaritas.”
Real Mex previously cited high debt, certain above-market rents and a weak economic environment, particularly in California, as the primary reasons behind its decision to restructure under Chapter 11. During the restructuring process it was business as usual at the company’s restaurants and Real Mex Foods division.
Headquartered in Cypress, California, Real Mex Restaurants is the largest full-service, casual dining Mexican restaurant chain operator in the United States with 132 company owned and operated restaurants as well as 20 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 & 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 and providing broadline foodservice distribution services.