Black Bear Diner, an award-winning family dining concept and a 2015 Nation’s Restaurant News Top 200 chain, with 75 restaurants spanning eight states in the Western U.S, has announced a sale of a majority stake to Perella Weinberg Partners Growth Equity. Cascadia Capital arranged the sale and served as the exclusive financial advisor to Black Bear Diner and its affiliates.
Founded in 1995 by Bob Manley and Bruce Dean in Mt. Shasta California, Black Bear Diner has been serving heaping portions of high-quality homemade comfort food and providing friendly service and great value to its loyal customers for over two decades. With its inspired yet timeless menu offerings and its inviting, bear-themed atmosphere, Black Bear Diner is reinvigorating the family dining segment of the restaurant industry that for many years has been associated primarily with staid concepts offering little innovation in their guest experiences.
Cascadia worked with Black Bear’s management team and board of directors for more than a year prior to the marketing process to position the business strategically for a successful recapitalization.
“We wanted to find an experienced financial investor that would both preserve our unique culture and longstanding franchise relationships, as well as provide ‘smart’ growth capital to realize our aggressive expansion plan,” explained Co-Founder Bob Manley. “Cascadia’s buyer relationships allowed us to identify the perfect partner in Perella Weinberg Partners. The team there shares both our vision and energy.”
With support from its new equity-backer, the company’s management team will bring their unique concept to a broader national market. In 2016, Black Bear Diner expects to open 16 new units consisting of a mix of franchised and corporate stores.
“From the beginning, Cascadia’s industry knowledge, market savvy and deep institutional relationships positioned our brand and customer value proposition perfectly to the investment community,” explained Bruce Dean, Black Bear’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Cascadia not only helped us develop a strategy that maximized value for all of our shareholders, but also worked with us to select the right partner in Perella Weinberg whose growth goals, restaurant experience and national scope align seamlessly with our ambitions and philosophy.”
The investment from Perella Weinberg will allow Black Bear Diner to fortify its senior team, enhance and consolidate its systems and processes, and expand its board of directors.
“Today’s sell-side transactions are increasingly complicated — legally, financially and operationally. Cascadia’s leadership, led by John Siegler, was extremely efficient in navigating this deal’s complexity, resulting in a successful outcome for all parties,” added Robin Yoshimura, Black Bear’s Chief Financial Officer. “Their balanced, knowledgeable advice sets us up to realize our true potential post closing.”
The acquisition represents another successful transaction for Cascadia in the restaurant and multi-unit retail sector. Past transactions include the growth equity financing of MOD Pizza by Perella Weinberg Partners Growth Equity, the recapitalization of Rudy’s Barbershop by Northwood Ventures and Partnership Capital Growth, the sales of Ted’s Cafe Escondido to the Beekman Group and Super Supplements to the Vitamin Shoppe, and the strategic financing of Poler Outdoor Stuff.
For more information about this transaction, please contact the Cascadia Capital deal team:
John C. Siegler