Athens, Ga. — Zaxby’s Operating Company L.P. (Zaxby’s) and its subsidiaries have announced that investment funds managed by the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (Goldman Sachs) will acquire a significant stake in the company. The partnership will support accelerated growth for Zaxby’s as well as expansion into new sales channels with a guest-focused strategy. The deal is expected to be finalized by year end 2020.
Zaxby’s, the fast-casual chain known for its chicken fingers, wings and signature sauces, operates primarily in the Southeastern United States, with more than 900 restaurants in 17 states. Zaxby’s has delivered industry-leading comparable sales performance for three consecutive years, and there is unprecedented demand from franchisees to grow.
“I look forward to working with the team at Goldman Sachs to continue building the brand I founded 30 years ago in Statesboro, Ga. This partnership symbolizes the strength of our company and their involvement will accelerate our growth and expansion into a national brand,” says Zach McLeroy, Zaxby’s co-founder and CEO.
“Zaxby’s is a fantastic company with a founder-led culture, loyal customers and talented employees. We are excited to partner with the management team to provide long term capital for their next phase of expansion,” says Nicole Agnew, managing director in the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. “We are confident we can grow the brand while remaining authentic to what people love about the restaurants.”
“I am excited to have a firm like Goldman Sachs joining the Zaxby’s family. 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,” says Tony Townley, Zaxby’s co-founder.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Stephens Inc. served as financial advisors to Zaxby’s. King & Spalding LLP and Fortson, Bentley and Griffin, P.A. served as legal advisors to Zaxby’s. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal advisor and Goldman Sachs served as financial advisor to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking.
Founded by childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley in 1990, Zaxby’s is headquartered in Athens, Ga., and has grown to more than 900 locations in 17 states. For more information, visit www.zaxbys.com.
Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (MBD) is the primary center for the firm’s long term principal investing activity.