TO ACQUIRE MAJORITY INTEREST IN UNO RESTAURANT HOLDINGS
Frank Guidara Named CEO
BOSTON (January 11, 2005)
- Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation today announced that
it has entered into an agreement with Centre Partners, a
leading middle market private equity firm with offices in
New York and Los Angeles, whereby Centre Partners will acquire
a controlling interest in the company. Aaron Spencer, the
company's Founder and Chairman, as well as the senior members
of the Uno management team, will maintain significant ownership.
In addition, Uno and Centre Partners jointly announced that
Frank Guidara will join Uno as CEO concurrent with the closing
of the transaction. Mr. Guidara is presently President and
CEO of Au Bon Pain. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Uno is a major operator and franchisor of full-service,
casual dining restaurants and has system wide revenues of
nearly $500 million. Uno serves a broad variety of fresh
and flavorful menu items, including its signature Chicago-style
deep dish pizza, which Uno invented in 1943, as well as
ribs, steak, seafood, pasta, salads, chicken and fajitas.
There are more than 200 Uno Chicago Grill restaurants, located
in 32 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and
select international cities. Uno also operates a rapidly
growing consumer foods division.
"I have spent a lifetime building Uno into a strong
restaurant business, and I look forward to the next stage
of the company's growth and development," Mr. Spencer
stated. "I am very excited to bring an experienced
private investor like Centre Partners on board to help lead
the company through the next phase of its evolution."
Mr. Guidara said, "I am excited to be leading a great
organization with which I have been associated as a board
member for several years. Uno has a rich history, a great
brand name and an excellent management team."
"Frank has the industry expertise and personal knowledge
of Uno to advance our business, and we are very excited
to have him as our new CEO," Mr. Spencer said.
"In Uno we are partnering with an excellent management
team in a business with an outstanding brand, leadership
in its markets, predictability and attractive growth prospects.
Uno is a restaurant icon, with its rich heritage, loyal
customer base and unique, high quality menu offerings,"
said David Blatte, Managing Director at Centre Partners.
"We are investing in a storied, time-tested concept
that we will continue to build into a leading national restaurant
chain, franchise organization and food manufacturer."
Centre Partners has deep experience investing in consumer
businesses, and the firm has invested in such restaurants
as Garden Fresh Restaurant Group, which operates Sweet Tomatoes
and Souplantation, The Johnny Rockets Group and Buca di
"We have been serving our customers for well over
50 years, and this transaction will allow us to continue
to build our business for the long term," added Mr.
Mr. Guidara, who has been a member of Uno's Board of Directors
since 2001, has agreed to join Uno as CEO after spending
five years as CEO of Au Bon Pain. Prior to that he was President
and CEO of Wolfgang Puck Food Co., and he also spent 10
years as President of Operations at New York based Restaurant
About Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation
Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp. currently
has more than 200 company-owned and franchised full service
units located in 32 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, and select international cities. Uno offers a diverse
selection of high quality, fresh and flavorful menu items
prepared daily in its restaurants and served in a friendly
atmosphere. Uno's menu includes its signature Chicago-style,
deep dish pizza, as well as ribs, steak, seafood, pasta,
salads, chicken and fajitas. The company also operates a
rapidly growing consumer foods division, which supplies
airlines, movie theaters, hotels and supermarkets with both
frozen and refrigerated private label foods and branded
Uno products. For more information, visit www.unos.com.
About Centre Partners
Centre Partners, founded in 1986, with offices in New York
City and Los Angeles, is a leading private equity firm focused
on making investments in middle market companies alongside
management teams who have a meaningful economic stakes in
the future success of their businesses. Centre Partners
and its affiliates have invested over $3 billion of equity
capital in more than 80 businesses, with a focus on consumer
businesses, including restaurants. The investment will be
funded through Centre Partners' fourth fund which has committed
capital of about $780 million. Additional information about
Centre Partners is available at www.centrepartners.com.
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