Private equity firm to buy Fogo de Chao

by Staff
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BOSTON — Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P., a private equity firm, and GP Investments, Ltd., an alternative asset investment firm in Latin America, have signed a definitive agreement under which THL will acquire from GP Investments Fogo de Chão Churrascaria (Holdings), L.L.C.), a group of full-service restaurants headquartered in Dallas with 18 locations in the United States and 7 locations in Brazil.

Founded in 1979 in Southern Brazil, Fogo de Chao is an authentic Southern Brazilian steakhouse or churrascaria. The chain expanded into the United States in 1997.

“With three new restaurants opened in the past 12 months, Fogo has charted a compelling growth path,” said Larry Johnson, chief executive officer of Fogo. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with an investor like THL. Their expertise in working with management teams to support and deliver profitable growth in consumer-driven businesses is a great match for Fogo, our passion for the guest experience and where we are heading in the future.”

Jeff T. Swenson, managing director of THL, added, “We have tremendous respect for Fogo’s innovative dining experience and unparalleled commitment to customer service and quality.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

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