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Elite Restaurant Group makes plans to purchase Noon Mediterranean

The Daphne’s parent filed an intent to buy the bankrupt chain for less than $800,000.
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The once-promising, oft-rebranded Noon Mediterranean, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August, has a potential buyer and, pending finalization of the deal, is slated to be transformed again.

Elite Restaurant Group, the Los Angeles-based parent company of Daphne’s Inc. headed by Michael Nakhleh, filed an agreement to purchase the struggling 12-unit chain for less than $800,000 Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware. The remaining Noon units will be morphed into “hybrid” locations with menu items from Noon and Daphne's, according to a statement from Elite Restaurant Group.

The deal, which included more than $731,000 in cash and up to $100,000 in post-bankruptcy costs, is expected to be finalized in 60 to 90 days. The agreement also includes 2% of Daphne’s creditors going toward creditors and rent, according to the statement from Elite Restaurant Group.

If the deal is finalized, Daphne’s will expand to 36 units.

Elite Restaurant Group has been on a buying spree in recent years, acquiring Daphne’s this year and Slater’s 50/50 in 2016. Elite entered into a deal to purchase 17-unit Patxi’s Pizza last month.

“We’re glad to have found the right investor to move forward with,” Noon CEO Stefan Boyd told Restaurant Business. “Michael and the Elite Restaurant Group team’s experience and tenure in the industry makes them a great partner for us and we’re excited to work with them to complete this transition.”

Once-thriving Noon Mediterranean secured a $20 million private investment last year and saw a 28.3% increase in sales from 2015 to 2016, according to Technomic data. By the following year, sales plummeted 8.8% year over year.

Last year, the chain rebranded from Verts. It got its start in 2011 in Austin, Texas, under the name VertsKebap.

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