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Hooters is up for sale

The company is looking for buyers three years after its last sale attempt.

Hooters of America, the 400-unit casual-dining chain that created the “breastaurant” sector, is for sale for the second time in three years.

PE Hub first reported that the company, owned by H.I.G. Capital, KarpReilly and Chanticleer Holdings, has been put up for sale and that Piper Jaffray is the company’s adviser on the sale process. A source confirmed the story to Restaurant Business.

Chanticleer, with the backing of the private-equity firms, acquired the chain in 2011, ending years of legal limbo after the 2006 death of the chain’s owner, Robert Brooks. The company had been put on the block for a time in 2015 before it was pulled back.

But it’s believed that the company is in a better position today. Hooters has acquired some franchisee units. System sales in the U.S. declined 2.1% last year to $845.5 million, according to Technomic data.

The company has opened a fast-casual version of its concept, called Hoots, which features the chain’s chicken wings in a counter-service model.

Some buyers could be intrigued by the idea of owning a potential competitor to Wingstop, which has thrived in recent years with improving sales and unit count. Wingstop stock has increased in value by a third over the past year.

If sold, Hooters would be the second breastaurant chain sold this year. Arc Group, the owner of Dick’s Wings & Grill, agreed to buy Tilted Kilt in a complicated deal last month. That deal was completed earlier this week.

Hooters did not respond to a request for comment.

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