NRD Capital Management, a restaurant-focused private equity firm, has raised its second fund NRD Partners II LP at $104 million. The fund's closing comes as the restaurant sector is receiving strong investor interest.

NRD, based in Atlanta, was founded in 2014 by former Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. (Nasdaq: PLKI), Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) and Checkers franchisee Aziz Hashim. In 2015, the PE firm took Frisch's Big Boy private and in 2016, NRD purchased a majority stake in Fuzzy's Taco Shop.

“With our operating expertise, wide network of franchisees and partnership approach to interacting with our portfolio companies, we have the unique ability to enable accelerated, but responsible, growth for brands," says Hashim.

The restaurant industry has been seeing robust investment activity from PE firms. Brentwood Associates acquired a stake in Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza; General Atlantic made a minority growth investment in Barteca Holdings; Roark Capital Group purchased a majority stake in restaurant chain Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q and in 2016, the same PE firm backed Jimmy John's Sandwiches.

PE is experiencing the best fundraising climate in years - perhaps ever. PE firms with proven track records are faring especially well, raising funds in record time. In the first half of the year, 224 North America-focused funds closed, raising $133 billion, while globally there have been 412 private equity funds closed, which raised a combined $221.4 billion, surpassing the record $220.8 billion raised in 2008, according to Preqin.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop

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Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis serves as Assistant Managing Editor. He joined Mergers & Acquisitions in 2015 as a Senior Reporter.