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Private-equity group L Catterton buys Uncle Julio’s

Private-equity group L Catterton has bought Uncle Julio’s, seeking to up the growth of the 31-unit polished-casual Mexican chain.

Details of the deal were not disclosed as part of the PE firm's acquisition announcement.

“Ultimately, L Catterton's willingness to invest in the long-term success of our brand and their alignment with our values makes them the perfect fit to help us execute our growth strategy,” Tom Vogel, CEO of Uncle Julio’s, said in a statement.

The deal is one of the rare instances in recent months of a PE investor buying into a casual chain. The casual-dining sector has been suffering a persistent slump in traffic, scaring away even bargain hunters.

Uncle Julio’s was this year named one of Technomic’s Top 500 restaurant chains, posting an estimated $170.5 million in U.S. sales during 2016.

L Catterton has invested in such other restaurant brands as Noodles & Co., Protein Bar, Velvet Taco and Mendocino Farms.

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