Daily News: March 23, 2015

Levy Acquisition Closes Del Taco Holdings Recap

Del Taco Holdings and Levy Acquisition announced Del Taco has closed its previously announced recapitalization, in advance of the planned acquisition of the company by LAC. Restaurateur Larry Levy, the CEO and chairman of the board of LAC, together with his family and a group of new investors have made a private investment of $120 million in the common stock of Del Taco and now own approximately 46% of Del Taco.

Levy assumed the chairmanship of Del Taco while Ari Levy and Steve Florsheim, both officers and directors of LAC, also joined the Del Taco board of directors.

With the completion of the recapitalization, Del Taco eliminated its subordinated debt and reduced its total debt along with the associated cost of borrowing.

Paul J.B. Murphy, III, president and CEO of Del Taco, commented, “The recapitalization has strengthened Del Taco financially by significantly deleveraging our company; I am delighted that this contributed to our recent credit rating upgrades from Moody’s Investor Service and Standard & Poor’s. With the infusion of new capital, we are well-positioned to accelerate the expansion of our brand and make the necessary investments to support our accelerating same store sales growth.”

The company’s recapitalization represents the completion of the first step of a two-step process in the merger of a subsidiary of LAC with and into Del Taco, which is expected to be completed in June 2015.

In anticipation of that merger, LAC announced that Patrick Walsh and Eileen A. Aptman would be joining its board of directors upon closure of the merger.

Walsh has a history of involvement in successful investments in publicly traded restaurants including Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ RRGB) and Denny’s. He currently serves as a director of Famous Dave’s of America and BJ’s Restaurants. He also operates PW Partners, an affiliate of one of the larger investors assembled by Larry Levy to complete the recapitalization of Del Taco.

Aptman is the chief investment officer of Belfer Management and has served as a director and audit committee member of public and private companies. Affiliates of Belfer are also part of the investors assembled to fund the recapitalization.

Larry Levy, chairman of Del Taco and LAC, added, “We are very pleased that Patrick Walsh and Eileen Aptman will be joining our Board following the merger. They each have experience working with publicly traded restaurant companies and we will benefit from their insights and advice. Their support has been instrumental in positioning LAC for the acquisition of Del Taco this spring.”

The Del Taco brand was founded in Southern California in 1964. By 1978, Del Taco had opened its 100th location and reached 5 states. Del Taco and its franchisees now operate approximately 550 restaurants in 16 states, serving more than 3 million guests each week.