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Major Stake in US Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Operators, Pacific Bells and World Wide Wings, Sold to Partners Group

October 07, 2015

New York— Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that the firm advised major operators of US Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings franchised restaurants in selling a majority stake to Partners Group.

Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has acquired a majority stake in restaurant businesses Pacific Bells and World Wide Wings (together, the 'Companies') on behalf of its clients. The Companies are leading operators of franchised restaurants of the Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings brands and operate 139 restaurants across five US states. The Companies’ founders and management team have retained a significant stake following the transaction, which closed on October 2, 2015.

Pacific Bells, the fourth largest Taco Bell franchisee in the country with 110 restaurants, was founded in 1989 with the opening of a single Taco Bell outlet in Oregon and has since grown across Oregon, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin through new store openings and franchise acquisitions. World Wide Wings was founded in 2007 and is the fifth largest Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee in the US with 29 restaurants in California, Oregon and Washington.

Partners Group will work with the Companies' management team, led by Tom Cook, Founder and CEO, Eric Simko, President of Pacific Bells, and Wray Hutchinson, President of World Wide Wings, to carry out an ambitious growth plan for the Companies. This plan encompasses further store openings within existing markets, additional franchise acquisitions, and facility improvements at existing outlets.

M&A partner Tom Kruger led the Paul Hastings team, which included M&A associates Leslie KerseyLaura Hidalgo and Jennifer Tytel, in addition to Andy Short and David Makso (Tax) Brad Ritter and David Stanek (Real Estate) and Mark Poerio and Kate Robinson (Employment & Benefits).  Paul Hastings worked closely with Portland, Oregon-based outside counsel to the Companies, Jim Ambrose of James F. Ambrose, P.C. on the transaction.

Paul Hastings is a leading global law firm with a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Through a collaborative approach, entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to client service, the professionals of Paul Hastings deliver innovative solutions to many of the world’s top financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.