Daily News: February 20, 2014

Trinity Closes $2B in Transactions in 2013

With more than 30 transactions valued at over $2 billion among the year’s highlights, boutique investment banking firm Trinity Capital achieved in 2013 one of its best years since its inception in 2000, said Managing Partner Kevin Burke.

“It was a watershed year for Trinity Capital as we passed important milestones with transactions, revenue, profitability and new client additions,” Burke said. “During the year we completed 32 transactions for clients including mergers and acquisitions, capital raises, fairness opinions, valuations, franchise consulting, and system wide franchise studies.”

Burke cited a few of the firm’s 2013 accomplishments:

Trinity served as financial advisor for a financing for Emerald Green, the new ownership of the iconic Central Park located Tavern on the Green. The restaurant will be opening soon after its three-year hiatus during which the City of New York remodeled and reconceived the format for this landmark restaurant in conjunction with Emerald Green leadership.

Trinity served as the exclusive financial advisor in the recapitalization of Lucky Strike Entertainment, one of the nation’s leading brands in the bowling, entertainment and dining industry. The firm procured funding for preferred and common equity as well as senior financing.

In early 2013, Trinity recapitalized one of the nation’s largest multi-brand franchise holding companies in a private transaction of several hundred million dollars.

Trinity assisted Tacala, one of the nation’s largest franchisees in its divestiture of Gateway Bells, a 62-restaurant Taco Bell operator that was acquired by Bell American Group.

Early in 2013, Trinity capital assisted ES-O-EN Corp., a 40-unit Taco Bell franchisee with operations in Idaho, Oregon and Utah in connection with its $18 million senior debt refinancing and $15 million revolving line of credit for new store development and remodeling. The company’s new annual debt service was 1/12th its prior annual obligation, significantly improving cash flow and liquidity for the long time Taco Bell operator.

Trinity conducted a two-step transaction for long-time client Luihn Foods that bifurcated real estate assets from enterprise value and separately divested these entities to different buyers to maximize proceeds and capitalize on 2012 capital gains tax treatment, in spite of the fact that some of the assets were conveyed in 2013. This transaction accomplished the strategic, trust, and estate and tax objectives of the Luihn family, who continue to be one of the most successful Yum! Brands operators in the United States.

Burger Busters, an 83-restaurant Taco Bell operator in southeastern Virginia and longtime Trinity client, completed an $80 million credit facility to refinance its existing debt and fund growth and expansion.

Trinity advised Capital Group, one of the world’s largest money managers in connection with its acquisition of a $25 billion mutual fund.

“2014 will continue to bring challenges for the restaurant industry as guest visits continue to shrink. But despite this, competitive brands continue to thrive at the expense of laggards through product innovation, clever customer strategies and effective promotion. Restaurant goers’ tastes and preferences are rapidly changing under the noses of many concepts. Leading concepts are closely following their customers through traditional means and social media in order to avoid obsolescence,” Burke said.