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L Catterton to buy Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group

In a deal valued at approximately $650 million, private equity firm L Catterton has agreed to acquire Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. The all-cash deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019 and remains subject to customary closing considerations, per a release announcing the transaction.

The past 13 months had been a very active period for Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. In May of 2018, Del Frisco’s acquired Barteca Restaurant Group, operators of Barcelona Wine Bar and bartaco. In September 2018, Del Frisco’s sold its Sullivan’s Steakhouse concept to Romano’s Macaroni Grill for $32 million. Finally, in December of 2018, Del Frisco’s announced plans to explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.

Upon the close of the transaction, L Catterton plans to run the bartaco and Barcelona Wine Bar businesses separately from the steakhouse brands in order to nurture the unique attributes of the brands, per a release announcing the deal. Del Frisco’s other concepts include Del Frisco’s Grille and Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.

This is not L Catterton’s initial foray into the restaurant space. It has invested in such restaurant concepts as multiconcept operator Bloomin' Brands, CÉ LA VI, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Crystal Jade, Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges, P.F. Chang's, Uncle Julio’s and many more.

During its first fiscal quarter of 2019, Del Frisco’s reported a 1.3 percent increase in same-store sales systemwide. Looking at its individual brands, bartaco and Barcelona Wine Bar were up 6.7 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. In contrast, Double Eagle Steakhouse was down .4 percent while Del Frisco’s Grille was up .2 percent.