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Del Taco completes merger, goes public

Chicago restaurateur Larry Levy completed his purchase of the Del Taco Mexican chain, announcing plans to compete with other major fast-casual chains by accelerating location growth nationwide.

Shareholders of Chicago-based Levy Acquisition Corp. on Tuesday approved the merger with Del Taco Holdings, which operates more than 550 restaurants in 16 states. The combined company, which will be traded publicly, is named Del Taco Restaurants. 

“What I love about (Del Taco) is it really falls nicely between Chipotle and Taco Bell in terms of freshness and the mechanized kitchen,” Levy told the Orange County Register. “We plan to make it a nationwide brand.”

The acquisition, first announced in March, is valued at $500 million.

As part of the deal, the Levy family and other investors purchased $120 million of Del Taco common stock, the proceeds from which were used to repay $111.2 million in high-interest debt. In addition, Del Taco will repay $68.6 million toward debts in an effort to free up the chain for growth and greater financial flexibility. 

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