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Private-equity firm buys Outback Steakhouse franchisee

Private-equity firm H.I.G. Capital today announced its acquisition of T-Bird Restaurant Group, Outback Steakhouse’s exclusive franchisee for California.

Elliot Maluth, managing director at H.I.G. Capital, said the firm plans to “accelerate the growth” of the Outback brand in California. The franchisee, which operates 63 Outback Steakhouse units in the state, has been affiliated with the brand for more than 20 years, noted T-Bird CEO Thomas Shannon Jr.

“The management team at T-Bird is well-recognized as the best in the business,” Maluth said. “Aided by the world class support of the franchisor, Bloomin’ Brands, we are confident in T-Bird’s ability to both drive growth and sustain industry-leading profitability.”

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Large franchisees are an attractive target for many private-equity groups, as they possess a great deal of operational know-how and tend to come at a lower cost than franchisors, Restaurant Business reported earlier this year. 

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