BRS Completes Sale of Il Fornaio and Corner Bakery Cafe to Roark Capital Group

NEW YORK, June 13, 2011 -- Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. (“BRS”), a New York-based private equity firm, announced today that it has completed the sale of Il Fornaio (America) Corporation (“Il Fornaio Corp.”) to Roark Capital Group. Il Fornaio Corp. is a leading operator of upscale Italian restaurants under the Il Fornaio brand and fast casual bakery cafes under the Corner Bakery Cafe brand. Il Fornaio Corp. also operates a state-of-the art bakery that manufactures artisan breads for both retail and wholesale distribution.

BRS acquired Il Fornaio Corp. in 2001 in a public-to-private transaction. In February 2006, Il Fornaio Corp. more than doubled in size following the acquisition of Corner Bakery Cafe from Brinker Corporation. The combined proceeds from the sale of Il Fornaio Corp. and an earlier recapitalization represented a gross multiple of invested capital of approximately 5.7x and generated a gross IRR in excess of 22%.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of our investment in Il Fornaio” said Nicholas Sheppard, a Managing Director of BRS. “During our ownership period, Il Fornaio and Corner Bakery Cafe achieved substantial growth, driven by same-store sales, new unit development, the investment in the bakery business and the initiation of a franchisee program at Corner Bakery Cafe. We are confident that, under the leadership of Mike Hislop, both Il Fornaio and Corner Bakery Cafe will continue to flourish.”

Mike Hislop, Chief Executive Officer of Il Fornaio Corp. stated “BRS was an exceptional partner. Throughout a range of economic cycles, BRS provided management with the resources and guidance needed to create substantial shareholder value. The acquisition and subsequent growth of Corner Bakery Cafe has been a key part of our success and would not have been possible without the support shown by BRS.”

BRS is one of the most successful private equity investors in the restaurant industry. Since 1995, BRS has completed 16 transactions in the sector, including a current investment in Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. “The restaurant industry continues to be a core area of focus for BRS. We have closely evaluated a number of opportunities in 2011 and we expect to make several investments in the sector out of our current fund”, said Stephen Sherrill, Co-Founder and a Managing Director of BRS.

BRS and Il Fornaio Corp. were advised in the transaction by North Point Advisors and Dechert LLP.

About BRS
BRS is a New York based private equity firm with $1.4 billion of committed capital under management in three investment partnerships, focused on investing in middle market consumer goods and services businesses. Since 1996, BRS has purchased over 40 portfolio companies for aggregate consideration of over $6.4 billion. In addition, BRS portfolio companies have completed approximately $1.9 billion of add-on acquisitions. Prior to forming the firm, the founders of BRS were in the financial acquisition business at Citicorp Venture Capital where they closed 25 transactions with aggregate transaction values totaling $5.8 billion.

For additional information contact:
Kekst and Company
Ruth Pachman or Mark Semer
212-521-4800