Robert Earl, owner of Planet Hollywood, Buca di Beppo and Earl of Sandwich, is adding the 58-unit Bertucci’s casual Italian chain to his fold in a deal valued at $20 million.
Earl won an auction for the troubled concept, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-April. The deal enables Bertucci’s to exit the oversight of federal bankruptcy court.
Earl had been identified as one of the parties interested in acquiring the Brio and Bravo polished-Italian chains. The parent of those twin concepts was acquired last month by onetime Olive Garden President Brad Blum and the Brazilian private-equity firm GP Investments.
A statement issued by Earl’s holding company, Earl Enterprises, indicated that Brian Wright will remain CEO of Bertucci’s, administering a plan to rejuvenate the brand by bringing it back to scratch cooking.
After Wright joined Bertucci’s in 2016, he brought back the concept’s celebrated chef and menu developer, Rosario Del Nero.
Bertucci’s is known for its pizzas, pastas and desserts. A centerpiece of the concept is its brick oven. The chain is concentrated along the Eastern Seaboard, with half of its unit in Massachusetts.
“I love the menu, from the rolls to the pizza and to the pasta dishes,” Earl said in a statement. “We are happy to add Bertucci’s to our portfolio of brands.”
Earl Enterprises owns and operates about 130 restaurants.