US lower mid-market firm Axum Capital Partners buys Wild Wing Café


US lower mid-market private equity firm Axum Capital Partners has bought a controlling stake in Wild Wing Café, a 32-unit restaurant chain based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Wild Wing Cafe operates 11 corporate-owned restaurants and 21 franchised restaurants across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, and Florida.

For fiscal year ending 31 December 2011, Wild Wing Cafe generated around $100m in sales. Fifth Third Bank provided debt financing for the deal, for which financial terms were not disclosed.

“This is a great partnership for our firm. We’ve developed a strong relationship with [founders] the Crowleys and share a similar vision regarding the future of Wild Wing Cafe. In addition, this transaction reflects Axum’s strategy and what we set out to do,” said Muhsin ‘Moose’ Muhammad, a managing director at Axum and former pro football player for the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers.

“By targeting specific sectors, we’ve been able to establish a team that is uniquely suited to effectively execute our firm’s investment strategy. Edna’s extensive expertise, strong leadership and broad-based relationships enabled us to quickly and properly evaluate this opportunity and develop an effective growth strategy,” he added.

Wild Wing Café was established in 1990 and is known for its sports and entertainment component. The deal will enable Axum to utilise its access to the professional athlete community to enhance the brand.

Axum Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on lower mid-market businesses in North America. The firm’s target markets include food and beverage, educational services and other markets that share similar characteristics.

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