Sentinel Capital Buys Huddle House



Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in promising, lower middle market companies, today announced it has acquired Huddle House, Inc., a leading franchisor of family dining restaurants in the Southeast. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Huddle House was founded in 1964 with a focus on serving quality food in warm, friendly environments that bring communities together. Huddle House offers customers “Any Meal. Any Time.” with a broad menu of high-quality, cooked-to-order food, and 24-hour service, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. Huddle House has 376 franchised units and 17 company-owned units in the Southeast that generate more than $225 million in annual system-wide sales. The acquisition comes after significant same-store sales increases of 7.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 7.2% in the first quarter of 2012.

“We are excited to partner with the talented Huddle House management team and a strong group of franchisees,” said Jim Coady, a partner at Sentinel. “We have particular expertise in franchising and restaurants, and we look forward to leveraging that experience to continue Huddle House’s success.”

“Sentinel has a proven track record of helping franchise businesses build value,” said Ken Keymer, CEO of Huddle House. “We have made meaningful progress with the Huddle House brand in recent years that has resulted in above average growth for our system. With Sentinel as our partner, we look forward to accelerating this growth.”

Sentinel has invested in numerous franchise businesses throughout its history including Border Foods, a leading franchisee in the Taco Bell system; Cottman Transmission Systems, the nation’s second-largest franchisor of transmission repair depots; Falcon Holdings, the largest franchisee of Church’s Chicken restaurants; Interim Healthcare, the nation’s largest provider and franchisor of home-based healthcare services; Southern California Pizza Company, a 223-unit Pizza Hut franchisee operating in the greater Los Angeles market; and Massage Envy, the nation’s largest provider and franchisor of therapeutic massage and spa services.

Sentinel Capital Partners specializes in buying and building lower middle market companies in the United States and Canada in partnership with management. Sentinel targets eight industry sectors – aerospace/defense, business services, consumer products/services, distribution, food/restaurants, franchising, healthcare products/services, and industrial manufacturing. Sentinel invests in management buyouts, purchases of family businesses, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures, and going-private transactions of established businesses with EBITDA between $7 million and $35 million. For more information about Sentinel, visit www.sentinelpartners.com.

Huddle House, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a leading franchisor of family dining restaurants in the Southeast. With its nearly 50-year history, Huddle House is one of the oldest franchise systems in the country and has established a strong position in the communities in which it operates. Huddle House offers customers “Any Meal. Any Time.” with its broad menu of high-quality, cooked-to-order food, and 24-hour service, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. Huddle House has 376 franchised and 17 company-owned units in the Southeast that generate more than $225 million in annual system-wide sales.