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Taco Cabana, Pollo Tropical to be sold, report says

taco cabana exterior

The publicly owned parent of Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana is planning to put itself up for sale, probably to a private-equity firm, the New York Post reported this afternoon.

A story on the tabloid’s website says the activist investor JCP Investment Partnership has amassed a 6.2% stake in the restaurant company, Fiesta Restaurant Group. JCP is known for pushing the companies in its portfolio to seek a private buyer who values the concerns above their market capitalization. Before the Post story appeared, Fiesta was valued by Wall Street at about $678 million. The amount has climbed steadily in the hours since.

The Post attributed the sales report to an unnamed source.

Other media subsequently noted additional signs of a possible sale, including the sooner-than-expected departure of CEO Tim Taft. The longtime industry veteran had originally set a retirement date of Dec. 31, but relinquished his duties on Sept. 30, according to one report.

When Taft announced his retirement in August, Fiesta said it was also dropping a plan to spin off its Taco Cabana Tex-Mex brand into a separate company. The company said at the time that it would commence a strategic review of its financial options.

Fiesta’s two chains extend to about 340 locations.

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