Sentinel Capital exits third-largest Pizza Hut franchise in the US


Lower mid-market private equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners has sold California’s largest Pizza Hut franchise after a four-year buy-and-build.

Southern California Pizza picked up its first 123 restaurants through a corporate divestiture by Pizza Hut in 2008, with Sentinel acquiring another 98 restaurants a year later.

Those purchases were combined with new unit openings to bring the company’s total number of stores to 224, making it the largest Pizza Hut franchise in the state and third largest in the US.

Sentinel senior partner John McCormack said, “We are extremely pleased with our investment in Southern California Pizza.

“During our ownership we were fortunate to partner with one of the top management teams in the industry and to receive strong brand support from Pizza Hut.

“We feel privileged to have been part of the Pizza Hut system during the past four years and thank the management teams at both Pizza Hut and parent company YUM! Brands for their outstanding leadership.”

Sentinel has previously invested in Falcon Holdings, a Church’s Chicken franchisee, and Taco Bell franchisee Border Foods.

Earlier this year it acquired franchisor and family dining restaurant operator Huddle House.

The firm’s latest exit is its fifth in 2012 following Interim Healthcare, Massage Envy, Inscape Publishing and LTI Boyd.

As well as Huddle House it has made two platform acquisitions this year in caster and wheel-maker Colson and Northeast Dental Management.

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