Centre Partners buys Captain D’s again

The private-equity firm, which sold the seafood chain in 2017, has acquired the brand again. Management has also invested in the company.
Captain D's sold
Photograph: Shutterstock

Centre Partners is taking another bite of the cod.

The private-equity firm on Monday said it has acquired the seafood concept Captain D’s from Sentinel Capital Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but if that sentence sounds familiar, it’s because it is: Centre Lane sold the chain to Sentinel five years ago, having acquired the company in 2013.

This time, the firm is partnering with the company’s management, which has invested in the brand, including CEO Phil Greifeld.

“We are proud to welcome Centre Partners back to the company and continue our growth story with their support,” Greifeld said in a statement. He noted the firm’s “deep understanding of our business” and said that makes them the “ideal partner.”

Greifeld said the plan is to add new menu offerings and focus on digital, drive-thru and delivery while increasing the number of locations.

The brand is not much different than it was at the time of the previous sale, at least based on sales and unit count. System sales are up 4.4% since 2016, to $568 million, according to Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.

Unit count over that time is up 4.1% to 536 restaurants.

Quick-service chains have been popular targets of private-equity firms and other buyers as consumers gravitate toward more takeout options. Concepts with drive-thrus have been a particularly hot target. Still, the market for mergers and acquisitions in the restaurant business has been somewhat slow thus far in 2022 amid rising labor and commodity costs.

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