AUA Private Equity backs Tijuana Flats Tex Mex restaurant chain

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taco-274126_1280US Hispanic-focused private equity firm AUA Private Equity has invested in Tex Mex restaurant chain Tijuana Flats through a recapitalisation deal.

AUA said its investment would be used to fund the Southeastern US-based company into new markets, enhance itss brand and promote its further development.

The 10-year-old company provides made-to-order Tex Mex cuisine amid distinctive wall art, and is known for its extensive hot sauce bar.

It has more than 110 corporate and franchise locations in the Southeastern US.

AUA, which was launched in 2012, was out targeting between $200m and $250m for its debut fund last year, and had pulled in $64m that January.

It was launched by the former COO of Goya Foods, the most successful Hispanic-owned food company in the US.

Andy Unanue partnered with the former principals of Gotham Private Equity Partners, which integrated its operations into the new firm.

AUA Private Equity Partners plans to invest between $10m and $30m of equity in companies focused in the consumer, media and business services sectors.

The firm plans to make control and significant minority investments in companies with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $3m to $5m, through leveraged buyouts, growth equity, recapitalisions and roll ups.

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