L Catterton selling Del Frisco’s to Landry’s

The private equity firm has completed its purchase of the chain operator and is flipping the steakhouse concepts while keeping Barcelona and Bartaco.
Photograph: Shutterstock

L Catterton on Wednesday said that it has completed its $650 million purchase of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group and is flipping the company’s two steakhouse chains to Landry’s in a separate deal.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm said it has an agreement to sell Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille to Houston-based Landry’s for an undisclosed sum.

L Catterton is keeping Barcelona Wine Bar and Bartaco. Sources said that Barcelona will be operated on its own and its CEO will be Adam Halberg, who had been president of the company.

Bartaco will be operated along with Uncle Julio’s, another L Catterton-owned chain.

The double deals make sense, given L Catterton’s preference for growth chains such as Barcelona and Bartaco and Landry’s years-long love of steak concepts.

The Tilman Fertitta-owned company operates high-end steak chains such as Morton’s, Mastro’s, Vic & Anthony’s, Strip House and Brenner’s. It operates numerous other chains in addition to that and recently won the right to acquire casual-dining operator Restaurants Unlimited for $37 million out of bankruptcy.

It will be getting a highly regarded steakhouse in Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, which operates 16 high-volume restaurants that generate $13.6 million per location. But it also gets the 24-unit Del Frisco’s Grille, which was designed as a more moderately priced version of the Double Eagle.

“We have been following Del Frisco’s for many years and tried once previously to acquire the company in 2012 before it went public,” Fertitta said in a statement on Wednesday. “It is a storied high-end steakhouse brand with roots set in Texas and iconic locations throughout the country.”

He called it “a perfect complement to our existing high-end steakhouse portfolio.”

Del Frisco’s had been on the market for much of the year, pressured by investors following the company’s debt-fueled acquisition of Barcelona owner Barteca Restaurant Group last year for $325 million. L Catterton paid $8 per share in cash for the company, valued at $650 million, including the company’s $350 million in debt.

Andrew Taub, managing partner of L Catterton, said in a statement that the deal with Landry’s “creates the best opportunity to unlock value in all of the company’s restaurant brands.”

It will keep Bartaco, which operates 22 locations in several states and is known for its tacos and margaritas. It will be operated along with the 35-unit Uncle Julio’s, which is based in Irving, Texas.

Barcelona operates 17 locations and will be operated as a stand-alone chain under Halberg, who has been with the company for more than a decade. He had risen from culinary director up to president of Barcelona last year.

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