Restaurant Brand Fogo de Chão to be Acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity

Fogo said it will continue to operate under its current management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Barry McGowan. Funds affiliated with Rhône Capital have owned Fogo since taking the company private in 2018.

Plano-based Fogo de Chão announced it will be acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity to accelerate its growth and expansion, the internationally renowned restaurant brand from Brazil announced.

Fogo said it will continue to operate under its current management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Barry McGowan. Funds affiliated with Rhône Capital have owned Fogo since taking the company private in 2018.

“Over the past several years, we made significant progress enhancing our unique offering and ability to bring the very best in experiential dining to more guests than ever before. We thank the Rhône team for their partnership during a critical and successful period in our history,” McGowan said in a statement. “Bain Capital shares our vision, and we are excited to leverage their extensive experience investing in and supporting the global growth of restaurant businesses. We are excited by this next chapter and believe there is tremendous upside in our future as we continue to execute against our growth plans with Bain Capital.”

No financial details were released. Fogo said the transaction should close in September.

Fogo was founded in 1979 Southern Brazil and is known for elevating the centuries-old cooking technique of churrasco in its 76 locations around the world.

Fogo said that under Rhône’s ownership, it experienced rapid growth across markets and is in its third year of 15% annual growth.

“Barry and his team have done an impressive job building on the brand’s differentiated concept, strong value proposition, and rich Brazilian heritage. Fogo is the clear market leader, and we believe the business is poised to continue its rapid growth as consumers increasingly seek unique and authentic dining experiences,” Bain Capital Partner Adam Nebesar said in a statement.

Debt financing for the deal is being led by Deutsche Bank, who is also serving as financial adviser to Bain Capital. PwC is serving as accounting adviser, and Kirkland & Ellis is serving as legal counsel to Bain Capital.

“When we took the company private in 2018, we embarked on a new chapter to refine the Fogo concept and experience. Despite the challenges the restaurant industry has faced in the last few years, we collaborated with Fogo’s talented leadership team to strengthen an already exceptional business while successfully executing an ambitious expansion plan across the U.S. and internationally,” Lucas Flynn, managing director at Rhône, said in a statement.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is the exclusive financial adviser on the transaction, Deloitte is accounting adviser and Sullivan & Cromwell is serving as legal counsel to Fogo de Chão and Rhône.

Fogo de Chão cooks their meats using the centuries-old cooking technique of churrasco – the art of roasting high-quality cuts of meat over an open flame.

In addition to its Market Table and Feijoada Bar – which includes seasonal salads and soup, fresh vegetables, imported charcuterie and more – guests are served simply-seasoned meats that are butchered, fire-roasted, and carved tableside by gaucho chefs.

Bain Capital Private Equity’s global team of more than 280 investment professionals creates value for its portfolio companies via its global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including healthcare, consumer/retail, financial and business services, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications. Bain Capital has 23 offices on four continents.

Since its founding, Bain Capital has made primary or add-on investments in more than 1,150 companies. In addition to private equity, Bain Capital invests across multiple asset classes, including credit, public equity, venture capital and real estate, managing approximately $175 billion in total assets and leveraging the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus.

Bain Capital Private Equity’s global restaurant and food-related investments have included Bloomin’ Brands, Brakes Group Food Distribution, Burger King, Dessert Holdings, Domino’s Pizza, Domino’s Pizza Japan, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Retail Zoo, Skylark Restaurants, and Valeo Foods.

Rhône was established in 1996 and is a global private equity firm with a focus on investments in businesses with a transatlantic presence.

Rhône operates across its London, New York, Madrid, and Milan offices. Rhône has invested in a diversified portfolio of companies including investments in the business services, consumer, and industrial sectors.

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