NEW YORK, July 5, 2006 – Two New York-based private equity investment firms, Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. (BRS) and Castle Harlan, Inc., announced today that their joint acquisition of Bravo Development Inc., operator of 50 upscale casual Italian restaurants, has been completed. Terms of the transaction were not announced.
Bravo, based in Columbus, Ohio, operates 19 Brio Tuscan Grilles and 31 Bravo! Cucina Italiana restaurants. They are located in 19 states, primarily in the Midwest and the South, and had revenues last year of more than $215 million. Bravo also operates two Bon Vie Bistros and a Lindey’s Restaurant.
BRS and Castle Harlan acquired the company from its co-founders, Rick Doody, chief executive officer, and his brother, Chris Doody, the president and chief operating officer. Management will retain a 20 percent stake in the company and will continue to oversee its operation. BRS and Castle Harlan hailed Bravo’s experienced and effective management team and the outstanding consumer acceptance of the two white-tablecloth concepts. They said they will move quickly to open new restaurants and expand their coverage area.
Both Castle Harlan and BRS are experienced and successful restaurant operators and had teamed up in August 2001 to invest in McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood restaurants. It is now a public company.
BRS, founded in 1995, specializes in management buyouts and recapitalizations of high quality, middle market companies with strong market positions and/or growth potential. BRS currently manages approximately $1.2 billion of committed capital in two institutional private equity funds. The principals of BRS have worked together since the mid-1980s (originally at Citicorp Venture Capital) and have collectively invested in over 60 companies with a total value in excess of $12.6 billion. In addition to McCormick & Schmick’s, BRS has made a number of other successful restaurant investments in the past, including Real Mex Restaurants (which operates the El Torito, Chevy’s and Acapulco chains), Il Fornaio, Restaurant Associates, Corner Bakery and Au Bon Pain.