Bunker Hill Capital, L.P. today announced that it has joined with Nick Valenti and Joachim Splichal to acquire The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SWRG). An acquisition vehicle formed by the group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SWRG via an all-cash merger at a price of $11.00 per share. The transaction is expected to close during the third calendar quarter of 2007.
Smith & Wollensky is the definitive premier steak house concept in the United States, and the acquired restaurants are located in Miami Beach, Chicago, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Columbus, Houston and Boston. The group plans to expand to other major cities across the United States.
As part of the transaction, Alan Stillman, Chief Executive Officer of SWRG, will acquire the Park Avenue Café and Quality Meats restaurants in New York City and the management rights to Smith & Wollensky in New York City, The Post House and Maloney & Porcelli. The Smith & Wollensky in New York City has been owned by a separate partnership for approximately 30 years and that ownership will continue under this separate partnership. Stillman will also acquire certain other assets and will assume certain liabilities of SWRG.
Valenti and Splichal, who will operate the acquired restaurants, stated “We are excited about the proposed acquisition and look forward to working with our partner, Bunker Hill Capital, to achieve our plans for the business.” Valenti and the principals of Bunker Hill Capital have had a relationship dating back to 1996, and Valenti is a member of Bunker Hill Capital’s Executive Council.
According to Theresa Nibi, a Managing Partner at Bunker Hill Capital, “We look forward to our partnership with Nick and Joachim, who have a long and successful track record of managing and growing restaurant concepts. Smith & Wollensky is one of the most widely recognized and highly regarded restaurant brands in the United States, and we are excited about the opportunity we have to expand the concept by opening new locations in cities across the country.”
Nibi’s sentiments were echoed by Mark DeBlois, also a Managing Partner at Bunker Hill Capital. “This opportunity represents an ideal investment for our firm. The company has a superior brand name, and the management team will be instrumental in enhancing value at the existing locations as well as accelerating growth through the opening of new units. We look forward to working closely with Nick and Joachim to achieve our strategic goals.”
About The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group
The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group develops and operates high-end, high-volume restaurants in major cities across the United States. Since its inception, the company has grown to include 13 restaurants, including Smith & Wollensky in Miami Beach, Chicago, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Columbus, Houston and Boston. The company also operates several other restaurants in New York, including Maloney & Porcelli, Park Avenue Café, Quality Meats and The Post House.
About Bunker Hill Capital, L.P.
Bunker Hill Capital is a private equity firm that makes investments in lower middle market companies with enterprise values up to $150 million. The principals of Bunker Hill Capital have invested over $380 million in 27 transactions and target opportunities across four industry sectors, including industrial products, business services, consumer products and specialty retail. Bunker Hill Capital’s other portfolio company investments include California Family Fitness, the leading owner and operator of fitness centers in the greater Sacramento, CA area; Papa Gino’s/D’Angelo, a dominant quick-service restaurant operator in New England; and Specialty Coating Systems, the world's leading supplier of high-performance Parylene conformal coating solutions for the medical, electronic and automotive markets. For more information on Bunker Hill Capital, please go to www.bunkerhillcapital.com.