Centre Lane Partners LLC has purchased bankrupt Saladworks, a salad chain restaurant, as healthy food grows in importance to consumers.

Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based Saladworks operates 108 fresh-tossed salad restaurants. The business says it has 50 more stores in the works.

Centre Lane is paying $16.9 million for the group, according to bankruptcy court papers.

Saladworks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2015, after a lawsuit with one of its equity holders led to a frozen bank account. The company had been considering a sale since 2013, when that litigation began, according to court documents.   

Centre Lane, headquartered in New York, invests in companies with between $20 million and $500 million in revenue. The firm's other investments include cleaning business Coverall, candle manufacturer Candle-Lite and manufacturing company Vexos.

As consumer desire for better-for-you food has grown, so has dealmaking in the sector. Recent transactions include Permira's acquisition of PopCorners, earlier in June, and ConAgra's deal for Blake's All Natural Foods

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