With buyers seeking to invest in smaller restaurant chains, investment banker Amy Forrestal knows what to look for in the space since that area is her sweet spot. Before joining Brookwood in 2002, Forrestal was with Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 1987 to 2001.
“The ability to manage a brand and support franchises that are running and building their own business is attractive,” says Forrestal, who advises on majority sell-side transactions. “These franchisors are high cash flow, very leveragable and have low capital expenditures.” Typically, Brookwood focuses on deals that have up to $250 million in enterprise value.
In 2016, Forrestal closed three deals, including: the sale of sandwich company Togo’s Holdings LLC to Nimes Capital; the sale of Silver Diner, an American casual restuarant, to Goode Partners; and the sale of Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD) franchisee Smash Management to World Wide Wings, a portfolio company of Partners Group AG. In 2015, Forrestall closed six deals that included the sale of Chicago-based Taco Bell franchises to KBP Partners.
“There are lots of private equity firms and high-net-worth individuals who have jumped on the train and are all looking to buy franchises and create nice business platforms with great synergies,” Forrestal says.