H.I.G. Capital News


Elliot Maluth
Managing Director

Jeff Bohl
Managing Director

H.I.G. Capital
1450 Brickell Avenue
31st Floor
Miami, FL 33131
P 305.379.2322
F 305.379.2013

T-Bird Restaurant Group, an H.I.G. Capital Portfolio Company, Completes the Acquisition of 45 Outback Steakhouse Restaurants from Bloomin’ Brands

SAN FRANCISCO – April 28, 2017 – H.I.G. Capital ("H.I.G."), a leading global private equity investment firm with $21 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts (formerly known as T-Bird Restaurant Group), has acquired 45 corporate-owned Outback Steakhouse restaurants from its franchisor, Bloomin’ Brands (“Bloomin’”). The acquisition includes all locations in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Cerca Trova is now the exclusive Outback Steakhouse franchisee in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, and remains the largest domestic franchisee of Bloomin’ Brands, operating over 100 Outback locations across the western region (approximately 15% of all the Outback locations in the United States).

“We are excited to extend our presence outside of California,” commented Steve Weigel, Chief Executive Officer of Cerca Trova. “The Outback concept is among the strongest in the casual dining sector, with a brand that customers have associated with high-quality and value for nearly three decades. We look forward to building on our long and successful track-record of representing Bloomin’ with well-run, popular restaurants.”

Elliot Maluth, Managing Director at H.I.G., said: “We are very excited about this add-on acquisition, which roughly doubles the size of our business. We upgraded and expanded our management team since making our initial investment in 2015, and believe that the new team, led by Steve Weigel and Mike Wong, will continue to elevate the brand and the customer experience.”

About Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts
Based in San Diego, California, Cerca Trova is the largest domestic franchisee of Outback Steakhouse, an Australian-themed steakhouse restaurant. In addition to beef and steak items, the concept offers a variety of chicken, ribs, seafood, and pasta dishes. The company's strategy is to differentiate its restaurants by emphasizing consistently high-quality food, service and great value in a casual atmosphere inspired by the Australian Outback. For more information, please refer to the Cerca Trova website at www.cercatrovarc.com.

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with $21 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide. The firm's current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.

* Based on total capital commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and affiliates.