PJ United, the largest franchisee of Papa John’s pizza in the US and a portfolio company of lower mid-market private equity firm The Halifax Group, has bought an additional 26 stores from Gaunce Management.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The stores, which are based in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois, will increase PJ United’s ownership of Papa John’s outlets from 132 to 158 stores in 10 states, adding to its existing presence in Louisiana, Texas, Ohio, Virginia and Utah.
Halifax backed the management buyout of the business in November 2007.
“PJ United is pursuing a strategy of measured growth, and the addition of these stores will allow us to continue to expand in our current footprint while adding service territory throughout the Southeast and Midwest,” PJ United CEO Doug Stephens said.
Halifax managing director Ken Doyle added, “We continue to see strong growth opportunities and demand for better quality pizza, and Halifax is proud to be partnered with a such a strong brand and management team.”
Washington DC-based The Halifax Group wrapped up its third buyout fund last week above its $350m target on $393m.
Hard capped at $400m, Halifax Capital Partners III brings the firm’s committed capital under management to about $1bn.
The fund will invest alongside managers of growing, entrepreneurial companies primarily in business and government services, health services, infrastructure services and franchising in North America.
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