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Goldman Sachs affiliate takes significant stake in Zaxby’s

Investment should propel growth at 900-unit chicken chain

Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, a Goldman Sachs affiliate, has taken a significant stake in Zaxby’s. The strategic investment should propel the growth of the fast-casual chicken chain and provide growth in sales channels that may not have been previously accessible. The deal should be completed by the end of the year.

With a growing popularity as a result of its straight-forward offering of chicken fingers, wings and signatures, Zaxby’s is poised for dynamic growth as a result of this Goldman Sachs investment. Operating mainly as a regional chain in the Southeast, the 900-unit chicken chain has plenty of white space in the United States and abroad.

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“I am excited to have a firm like Goldman Sachs joining the Zaxby’s family,” said Tony Townley, Zaxby’s co-founder. “This new partnership is a testament to what our employees and franchisees have helped us create thus far. Goldman Sachs’ knowledge and resources will help continue to build upon the strong foundation we have laid out.”

Executives at the Athens, Ga.-based fast casual expect this investment will create momentum for their culture, which is guest-centric, and will increase benefits to Zaxby’s franchise community.

“We are confident we can grow the brand while remaining authentic to what people love about the restaurants,” said Nicole Agnew, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division managing director.

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Zaxby’s recently launched a Signature Sandwich LTO, featuring fried chicken, in a move to reignite the chicken sandwich wars. The restaurant chain is increasing its relevance in the QSR chicken category as competitors seek to grow their market share.

[Related article: Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich debuts]

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Stephens Inc. served as financial advisors to Zaxby’s. King & Spalding LLP and Fortson, Bentley and Griffin, P.A. provided legal counsel to the company. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal advisor to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking, while Goldman Sachs served as its financial advisor. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Photo credit: Zaxby’s (featured preview image)

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